Sibutramine pulled from market

Abbott Laboratories announced in October that it is withdrawing the weight-loss drug sibutramine (Meridia®) from the market. The move comes a month after the FDA finished a review of the drug and found that patients with cardiovascular disease or diabetes given sibutramine had a significantly higher rate of serious cardiovascular events compared to placebo. The drug was originally approved in 1997. In a news release, the FDA states "physicians are advised to stop prescribing Meridia to their patients and patients should stop taking this medication." The Wall Street Journal reports that while Meridia may be off the market, sibutramine is still available illegally in many weight-loss nutritional supplements, most of which are available via the Internet from oversee suppliers. The supplements are marketed as "all-natural" and their labels list only herbal ingredients. The FDA recently advised consumers that Slimming Beauty Bitter Orange Slimming Capsules contains sibutramine, and last year published a list of more than 50 other supplements containing the banned drug. For complete list of supplements containing sibutramine go to: www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/QuestionsAnswers/ucm136187.htm.