January 21, 2018

After Meridia Pulled From Market, Generic Turns Up In Slimming Coffee

Meridia, a weight loss drug from Abbott Laboratories, was pulled from the market in 2010 after it was found to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. But now a generic version of the drug is turning up in some brands of “slimming coffees.”

Slimming coffees arrived on stores shelves a few years ago promising health benefits and easy weight loss. Some of them, however, contain the generic form of Meridia called sibutramine and can pose a serious health risk rather.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  approved Meridia for sale in the US as a a weight loss aid for the obese. Thirteen years later,  the agency requested the product’s withdrawal from the market after a study conducted in connection with European approval for the drug found “a 16 percent increase in the risk of serious heart events, including non-fatal heart attack, non-fatal stroke, the need to be resuscitated once the heart stopped, and death, in a group of patients given sibutramine compared to another given placebo. There was a small difference in weight loss between the placebo group and the group that received sibutramine,” according to a statement released by Abbott Laboratories at the time of the drug’s withdrawal from the market.

Last fall, the FDA issued an advisory about Best Share Green Coffee: Brazilian Slimming Coffee which was being sold on the Internet and possibly some retail locations. “Sibutramine is a controlled substance that was removed from the market in October 2010 for safety reasons,” the advisory stated, and then outlined the risks listed above. What’s more, said the FDA, “this product may also interact, in life-threatening ways, with other medications a consumer may be taking.”

Months after the advisory, this product is still being sold on the Internet. Consumers should not buy or use this – or any other slimming product that contains sibutramine.  Those who have and have experience side effects should see a health care professional as soon as possible.

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