Does Meridia Work?

In October 2010, Meridia was withdrawn from the market in the United States. Studies have shown that it increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. This medication will no longer be available in the United States. People should stop taking it and should ask their healthcare providers about more appropriate weight loss options. 
People thinking about taking Meridia often wonder, "Does it work?" Studies have shown that Meridia® (sibutramine hydrochloride monohydrate) helps people lose weight. After six months of taking Meridia while dieting, people lost up to 18 pounds, compared to just 2.9 pounds for people who were only dieting. The higher doses produced the greatest weight losses.
Clinical studies have also shown that Meridia can help people who have already lost weight to keep the weight off. In one study, up to 43 percent of people taking Meridia (plus dieting) were able to keep off at least 80 percent of their initial weight loss after two years, compared to only 3 percent of the people who were only dieting.
In addition, studies have shown that taking Meridia (plus dieting) produced beneficial changes in cholesterol levels (most likely as a result of the weight loss). Total cholesterol, "bad" cholesterol (LDL), and triglyceride levels dropped, while "good" cholesterol (HDL) levels increased.
(For more information on this topic, click Meridia. This article provides a complete overview of Meridia, including information on its uses, general precautions, and potential side effects.)
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