For years Americans have been looking for new and easier ways to lose weight. While obesity rates continue to soar, many pharmaceutical companies have tried to cash in on the trend by releasing new wonder drugs to the American public. Even with the recall of drugs like Fen Phen and Redux people still seek a miracle drug that will take the weight off without major changes to their everyday lives. With so much money to be made it’s no wonder that Abbott Laboratories released yet another diet drug, Meridia, an oral drug used to control weight gain.
Meridia may be a money maker for Abbott Laboratories but the American public is paying the real price. The trouble with Meridia only begins with the extensive list of contraindications.
- Meridia is not approved for use by patients under 18 years of age.
- Meridia is not approved for use by patients with severe depression.
- Meridia is not approved for use by patients with seizures
- Meridia is not approved for use by patients with glaucoma
- Meridia is not approved for use by patients with enlarged prostate glands
- Meridia is not approved for use by patients with uncontrolled hypertension or existing heart damage or diseases
Ironically enough, many of these illnesses are commonly seen in obese patients. With so many contraindications, it’s a wonder that Meridia made it past the FDA and into the pharmacies at all.
Symptoms of Meridia Side Effects
Meridia has a long list of adverse health effects which caused Abbott Laboratories and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct a voluntary recall of Meridia on Oct. 8, 2010. Dangerous side effects include:
- Sudden death
- Renal failure
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Chest pains
- Abnormal vision
- Fatal heart attack
- Fatal stroke
- Resuscitation following a stopped heartbeat and death
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased pulse rate
Since overweight people already have increased risk of high blood pressure and increased pulse rates, as is, the addition of Meridia could be a potentially fatal combination. After numerous studies on the potential side effects and the resulting deaths connected to Meridia, the FDA was forced to act. When Abbott Laboratories agreed to the voluntary recall physicians were to stop prescribing Meridia and patients were advised to terminate use and talk to their doctors about another weight loss program. Unfortunately the 2010 recall came too late for many of Meridia’s early victims.