Meridia's Links to Deaths and Adverse Cardiovascular Events
The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen has petitioned the FDA to ban the prescription drug Meridia, citing 84 deaths, since June 30, 2009, and more than 100 reports to the FDA of adverse cardiovascular events that resulted in hospitalization. Meridia, marketed as Reductil in Europe, has been banned by the European Medicines Agency after results were released of a Sibutramine Cardiovascular OUTcomes (SCOUT) Trial. The SCOUT trial was large study of more than 10,000 people aged 55 years or older, with a BMI between 27-45, and considered at high cardiovascular risk. The SCOUT trial found that taking Meridia actually increased the risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke in patients with a history of heart disease.
Is Meridia Safe?
The manufacturer of Meridia, Abbott Laboratories, has long maintained that Meridia is safe, and stated that obesity by itself could have caused the deaths and health problems linked to the drug's use. In 2010 after reviewing the results of the SCOUT trial, the FDA notified doctors and other cardiology and endocrinology healthcare professionals that their review of additional data indicated increased risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with a history of cardiovascular disease using sibutramine. Based on their review findings, FDA requested and the manufacturer agreed to add a new contraindication to the sibutramine drug label stating that sibutramine is not to be used in patients with a history of cardiovascular disease, including a history of hypertension, a history of peripheral arterial disease, a history of congestive heart failure, a history of heart arrhythmias, a history of stroke, and a history of coronary heart disease.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
If you or someone in your family has been hospitalized or died while taking the prescription drug Meridia, you should absolutely speak to a lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation from Abbott Laboratories. An attorney can evaluate your potential case, whether you were using the drug as intended, and whether the drug caused a side effect or reaction that was noted as a possible risk. There are many factors that determine whether or not you have a case. A lawyer will look at how the drug caused or contributed to your adverse event or a loved one's death, and collect medical evidence to support your case.
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