Sibutramine is no longer available in the U.S. The manufacturer has decided to stop producing sibutramine based on information from a recent clinical study. In this study, people taking sibutramine had an increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. If you are currently taking sibutramine, you should stop taking this medication and call your doctor to discuss switching to another treatment for weight loss or maintenance of weight loss.
Sibutramine is used in combination with a reduced calorie diet and exercise to help people who are overweight lose weight and maintain their weight loss. Sibutramine is in a class of medications called appetite suppressants. It works by acting on appetite control centers in the brain to decrease appetite.
Sibutramine comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food once a day. To help you remember to take sibutramine, take it around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take sibutramine exactly as directed. Sibutramine can be habit forming. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often or for a longer time than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose of sibutramine and increase your dose, after you have been taking sibutramine for at least 4 weeks. Your doctor may decrease your dose if you experience certain side effects while you are taking your starting dose.
You will probably lose weight soon after you begin taking sibutramine and following your diet and exercise program. Be sure to monitor your weight, and call your doctor if you do not lose at least 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms) during your first 4 weeks of therapy. Your doctor may wish to change your dose of sibutramine.
Sibutramine may not work for everybody. Tell your doctor how much weight you lose during your treatment with sibutramine. Your doctor may tell you to stop taking sibutramine if you do not lose a certain amount of weight during the first 3 to 6 months of your treatment.
You may not continue to lose weight after your first 6 months of treatment. However, you should continue to take sibutramine even if you have stopped losing weight. If you stop taking sibutramine, you may gain weight. Do not stop taking sibutramine without talking to your doctor.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking this medication if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually take sibutramine.
Follow the diet and exercise program your doctor has given you.
Talk to your doctor about drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
change in appetite
difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
painful menstrual periods
fast or pounding heartbeat
shortness of breath
uncoordinated or abnormal movement
shaking hands that you cannot control
large pupils (black area in center of eyes)
change in vision
difficulty speaking, breathing, or swallowing
swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
unusual bleeding or bruising
Sibutramine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom) and light. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure and heart rate (pulse) frequently while you are taking sibutramine.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 11/20/2012
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2013. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.