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About Meridia

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What is Meridia?

Meridia, pronounced mer-ID-dee-uh, is a brand name of the drug Sibutramine hydrochloride, a dopamine/norephinephrine/serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

Meridia helps the seriously overweight lose pounds and keep them off. It is especially recommended for those who in addition to being overweight have other health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol. You should be at least 30 pounds overweight before considering using this medicine.

How does Meridia work?

Meridia works by boosting levels of certain chemical messengers in the nervous system, including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Meridia works by inhibiting the reuptake of the neurochemicals norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine which in turn suppresses the appetite in the appetite control centers in the brain. This is similar to what Prozac and other anti-depressants do.

You'll still get hungry, but it will take less food to make you feel full. So you end up eating smaller portions.

What side effects do users of Meridia report?

The more common side effects may include: Abdominal pain, acid indigestion, anxiety, back pain, constipation, cough increase, depression, dizziness, dry mouth, flu symptoms, headache, increased appetite, insomnia, joint pain, loss of appetite, loss of strength, nasal inflammation, nausea, nervousness, painful menstruation, rash, sinus inflammation, stomach ache and sore throat.

Less common side effects may include: Acne, abnormal thinking, agitation, allergic reaction, arthritis, bronchitis, changes in taste, chest pain, dental problems, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, drowsiness, ear problems, emotional changes, fever, gas, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, itching, laryngitis, leg cramps, menstrual problems, migraine headache, muscle ache, rectal problems, reduced vision, stimulation, sweating, swelling, thirst, throbbing heartbeat, tingling skin sensation, urinary tract infection, vaginal yeast infection and vomiting.

For those who experience side effects at the 10-mg level, a 5-mg dose may prove sufficient. This may be increased after 4 weeks. Maximum of 15 mg/day continuing up to 2 years max.

What are the symptoms of overdose?

Although doctors have had little experience with overdoses of Meridia, increased heart rate and blood pressure are possible results. Since any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences, seek medical attention immediately if you suspect an overdose.

If you miss a dose of Meridia

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Don't take 2 doses at once.

Conditions you should tell your Doctor about before taking Meridia:

Anorexia nervosa.
Heart problems
High blood pressure or increased pulse
Kidney or liver problems
Narrow-angle glaucoma
Prone to gallstones
Thyroid problems
Renal dysfunction

If you have a seizure while taking the drug, stop using it and call your doctor immediately.

Using Meridia during pregnancy is not recommended. If you are in your child-bearing years, take reliable contraceptive measures while using this drug. If you do become pregnant, or plan on becoming pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. It is not known whether Meridia appears in breast milk; not for use in breastfeeding.

Meridia has not been tested in people under 16 years old. It should be used with caution in those over 65. Although it has been classified as a controlled substance (potentially subject to abuse), the possibility of developing physical or psychological dependence is low.

Tell Your Doctor if you're taking any of the following medicines:

Meridia may also interact with a variety of other prescription and over-the-counter drugs, especially weight-reducing agents, decongestants, antidepressants, allergy medications, and cough suppressants. Among the many drugs that pose a potential problem are the following:

Alcohol (excessive amounts)
Dextromethorphan (found in many over-the-counter cough preparations)
Dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. Injection, Migranal Nasal Spray)
Erythromycin (Eryc, Ery-Tab, PCE)
Fentanyl (Duragesic)
Fluoxetine (Prozac)
Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
Lithium (Lithobid, Lithonate)
Meperidine (Demerol)
Naratriptan (Amerge)
Paroxetine (Paxil)
Pentazocine (Talwin NX, Talacen)
Sertraline (Zoloft)
Sumatriptan (Imitrex)
Tryptophan (L-Tryptophan, Trofan)
Venlafaxine (Effexor)
Zolmitriptan (Zomig)
Stimulants such as amphetamines, Dexedrine, Desoxyn, Adderall, Didrex, and Ionamin

Do not combine Meridia with other drugs used to suppress appetite, and do not use it within 2 weeks of taking a drug classified as an MAO inhibitor, including the antidepressant medications Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate.

Storing Meridia

Store in a tight, light-resistant container, at room temperature (between 59 and 86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C), away from heat, moisture and children.

General Notes

Use of Meridia for longer than 1 year has not been studied.

Meridia can increase your blood pressure, so it's important to have your blood pressure and pulse monitored at the beginning of therapy and regularly thereafter.

Meridia can be taken with or without food.

Make a point of keeping follow-up appointments with your doctor.

Meridia is not indicated for people who are not obese and just want to slim down.

The starting dose is 10 milligrams once daily. If you have not lost at least 4 pounds after 4 weeks, the doctor may increase the dose to 15 milligrams daily. This is the maximum; if weight loss still fails to appear, Meridia will be discontinued.

The full effect on your weight may require four to six weeks.

Meridia has been found to be 65% successful at helping people lose weight and keep it off.

Common Misspellings for Meridia

Meridia is often misspelled, as many people hear the word verbally, write it down and spell it incorrectly. Here are a few of the most common misspellings for Meridia: Merdia, Maridia, Mardia, and Miridia.

Meridia Feedback

If you've used Meridia, please help others by adding your feedback. What would you tell your best friend about this product? Please remember that we do not give medical advice. That is for your local health care provider, who is familiar with your medical history. You can use the form below to add your comments, feedback or Meridia review.

Subj: Allergic reaction?
Date: 1/13/2003
I have been taking Meridia 10 mg for approx 10 days. In the last 2-3 days I have experienced rash on my cheeks, and upper body. I also have experienced severe scalp itching and tingling. I have discontinued use of this product and am responding to your request for information from people who are and/or have used this medication.

Subj: Symptoms after taking Meridia
Date: 3/31/2003
I took Meridia for approximately 3 months. Other than dry mouth, I had no unusual symptoms. Blood pressure was fine. I lost 20+ pounds and felt great. I had to quit for about a week due to short supply of finances and have developed itching - all over, head to toes. Would like to know if anyone has ever experienced this AFTER quitting taking the medication. Thanks.

Subj: Symptoms from Meridia
I used Meridia for 4 weeks 3/02. On 4/1, I experienced a headache like I never had before. This kept up for a week. After 2 days I went to Employee Health and my blood pressure was 135/115 up from an average of 110/65. I immediately quit the medicine and saw my doctor. On the third day of symptoms I developed stroke like symptoms with the tip of my nose feeling numb and my mouth also. I also noticed my left arm/leg were sluggish. I am a typist and piano player and the arm would just not work with the right arm. My pulse was 116 at rest which is usually 69-73. I have passed two treadmill tests before the medicine. I don't know of any lingering problems. It took 6 weeks for those symptoms to completely go away. I did lose 15 pounds in those four weeks.

Subj: menstral side effects, Meridia
Date: 4/18/2003
I started taking Meridia 10mg 6 days ago. The first few days I experienced insomnia and agitation, but those symptoms lessened by day 4. The side effects from days 4-6 included massive fluid retention and increased blood pressure/pulse. I discontinued Meridia today (day 7) when my menstral period began only 8 days after the end of my last menstration! During this week I could feel the effect of the drug on my appetite (not really hungry), but because of the agitation and anxiety and sleeplessness, I ended up eating more and gaining a pound.

Date: 6/13/2003
I started taking Meridia 3 months ago and WOW what a difference. Not only have I lost weight, I feel great.
The only side effect that I have has been dry mouth - no big deal.
If you have some serious weight to take off, this is the way to go.

Subj: Meridia
Date: 6/29/2003
I have taken Meridia in the past (5mg) and have started taking it again... this time at 10mg. I ordered it online. I never had side effects when I was taking it at the lower dose but now I am very anxious and irritable. I am not sure I will be able to continue taking it at this current dose. All the media hype about the dangers have gotten to me and I think that this may play a part in why I am so anxious. I would like to try the lower dose again.. but what to do with the meds I have now? I have only taken them for three days.

AskDocWeb: You might want to keep them until they expire, in case you want them again, then dispose of them. Prescription meds can not be returned.

Subj: Bloodshot eyes and feeling spacey
Date: 7/13/2003
I tried it for 2 weeks but discontinued because of bloodshot eyes and feeling spacey. I looked like I was high on drugs, which of course is not acceptable at work or anywhere else. Anyone know how to combat those side effects? The product was effective otherwise, so I would love to use it if I could still look healthy in the process.

Subj: Happy with meridia
Date: 10/27/2003
I lost 40 on phentermine about 3 yrs ago. Put 25 back on after terrible life event... Phentermine didn't work as well the second time around. I couldn't stand the side effects. Tried Meridia & I am happy! Curbs my appetite, controls cravings, and I no longer think about food 24/7. No anxiety, racing heart, dilated pupils, dry mouth, agitation & inability sleep like phentermine. I feel "normal" again. I can eat small meals throughout the day with great control. This isn't quick fix pill, but a solution that restores sanity and a natural relationship with food again. I have lost 9 lbs in these first 2 weeks. 16 more to go!

Subj: Meridia jump-started my new life!
Date: 1/20/2004
Having had high cholesterol, feeling lethargic and having been over 40 1bs overweight, my Doctor prescribed 10mg of Meridia. Meridia helped curb my appetite enough so I could think about what I was eating and could make smart choices instead of grabbing the nearest box of cookies or bag of chips. After losing the first 15 lbs. (less then a month), I joined a gym....6 months and 40 1bs later I felt I could stop taking Meridia. I've been off Meridia for only three months but I feel like a new person. The only side effect was INCREASED SEX DRIVE and MY CHOLESTEROL CAME DOWN. Strangely, my blood pressure stayed low the entire time I was on it!

Subj: Over the counter drug interactions
Date: 2/20/2004
I recently ordered meridia online without a prescription. I haven't taken it yet. I wanted to know any over the counter drug interactions, and possible side effects. I really appreciate your help. Thank you.

AskDocWeb: Meridia may interact with a variety of over-the-counter drugs, especially weight-reducing agents, decongestants, antidepressants, allergy medications, and cough suppressants. If you use any of these, do not use Meridia without first discussing this with your health care provider.

Subj: Works but feeling high
Date: 4/8/2004
I have been taking Reductil 10mg (Meridia, I'm from the UK) for 6 days now. I feel dizzy, spacey and slightly sick. I also feel high and I think the last few days at work, people wonder what's wrong!. My appetite has increased and I can't stop eating the wrong things...but I am due for my period and hope this will go in a week. It is curbing my appetite though and know I still have to eat sensibly so will stick the first 4 weeks out. I just hope I don't spill hot tea over a colleague's desk again like yesterday! Very dizzy and couldn't walk straight!. I'll let you know how I get on..fingers crossed. :-)

Date: 5/15/2004
I have been taking Reductil (I'm from UK), and I'm very happy with it. But I experience acne I never had before. What (do) I have to do?

AskDocWeb: The most important thing about treating acne is to keep your pores free of oil and dirt in order to help prevent infection. If it becomes a major concern then you might consult with a dermatologist.

Read more feedback on Meridia

Most recent post: August 11, 2012

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2002-2012 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on Meridia and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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