The trade name Meridia is used in the U.S. and Canada for the appetite suppressant drug Sibutramine – in Europe and the rest of the world it is known as Reductil.
Meridia is an orally administered form of the compound sibutramine hydrochloride monohydrate, and it suppresses your appetite to help you to feel full more quickly, thus reducing your hunger.
Meridia does this by blocking certain neurotransmitters – however, in order for it to be effective, you must also follow an appropriate diet and exercise program. Simply taking the drug will do little to help you lose weight.
This is a prescription only drug, typically only prescribed to those who are extremely obese (that is, with a BMI of 30 plus) or those with a BMI of over 27 and other medical risk factors, such as risk of heart disease, hypertension, or type 2 diabetes.
Used properly it can be effective – research has shown that on average, those taking this medication and also following a weight-loss diet and exercise program, can lose up to 7% of their body weight within 6-12 months.
As with any strong medication, there are side effects and cautions. This drug is contraindicated for those with:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Heart failure
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Abnormal heart beat
- A history of strokes
It is thus essential that you go through your doctor and get a prescription for a drug of this nature – this will ensure that it is appropriate for you, and that you are getting a safe and effective medication.