By Abbott Laboratories

What is this medication for?


October 8, 2010

Meridia® (sibutramine) has been removed from the US market by the manufacturer due to safety concerns. For additional information about this medication, please contact your doctor or pharmacist.

To read the full FDA Public Health Advisory, visit the FDA's web site at

Sibutramine is known as a satiety enhancer. It is used as part of a weight management program, along with a calorie-reduced diet, to help people lose weight. It works in the brain by affecting certain chemicals that control your appetite, and helps you eat less by making you feel full sooner. It may also increase the way your body uses energy (a process called thermogenesis).

This medication should only be used by people who have not been successful in losing sufficient weight on a low-calorie diet alone, and who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, or by people with a BMI of 27 or higher who also have other conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Meridia® is available as:

  • capsule
    • 5 mg
    • 10 mg
    • 15 mg
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.

How should I use this medication?

The recommended adult dose of sibutramine is 10 mg once daily taken with or without food.

The doctor may increase or decrease the dose as needed, but the daily dose does not usually exceed 15 mg.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Sibutramine should not be taken by anyone who:

  • is allergic to sibutramine or any of the ingredients in this medication
  • is taking (or has taken within the last 14 days) an MAO inhibitor (e.g., phenelzine, selegeline, tranylcypromine, moclobemide)
  • is taking other weight management medications (e.g., phentermine)
  • has a history of or is currently suffering from anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa
  • has cardiovascular disease, including a history of heart attack, angina, stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), heart arrhythmia, congestive heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, or uncontrolled high blood pressure
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The contents of this health site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition.

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