By Karin McCay| email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – An FDA advisory panel took a hard look at a popular prescription diet drug, and it decided that Meridia, like many diet drugs before it, should be taken off the market, even though it has been available for 13 years.
A recent study of 9000 people over six years raised serious concerns about Meridia. Finding on average, subjects lost only five pounds, but experienced a 16 per cent increase in heart attacks and strokes. The problems with Meridia follow a long string of diet drugs that have been linked to various health problems.
However, Dr. Leena Khaitan said that "a lot of times people who are overweight may have unrecognized hypertension, or they may have heart disease if they don't go to the doctor regularly."Now, on Thursday, FDA advisors will consider whether an experimental drug, called Lorcaserin, should get the okay to become available. Researchers say it has few side effects, and patients actually showed some improvement in blood pressure and blood sugar. Those patients lost an average of 17 pounds in a year.
If the FDA approves Lorcaserin, it would be the first *new* prescription weight-loss drug in a decade.
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