How 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In October 2010, Meridia was withdrawn from the market in the United States.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. 
 
Meridia® (sibutramine hydrochloride monohydrate) is a prescription medication used for weight loss treatment. Many people taking Meridia may wonder, "How does it work?"
 
The medicine works by helping you to feel full more quickly. It acts in the brain, where it increases the levels of certain brain chemicals (including serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine) in specific areas of the brain.
 
Meridia prevents the "reuptake" of chemicals. As a message travels down a nerve, it causes the end of the cell to release a brain chemical. The chemical enters the gap between the first nerve cell and the one next to it. When enough of the chemical reaches the second nerve cell, it activates receptors on the cell, and the message continues on its way.
 
The first cell then quickly absorbs any of the extra chemical that remains in the gap between the cells, preventing the chemical from further activating the second cell. This is called "reuptake."
 
This process gives the chemicals a better chance of activating the receptors on the next nerve cell. It also promotes a sense of fullness (the signal to stop eating). It does not suppress the appetite (the signal to start eating).
 
(For more information on how this drug works, click Meridia Uses. This article provides a complete overview of Meridia, including information on its uses, whether it is safe for children, and how it helps people lose weight.)
 
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