Obesity has increased dramatically over the past 20 years in the United States. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has characterized American society as "obesogenic," meaning that many aspects of society promote an increased food intake, unhealthy food, and a lack of physical activity. This epidemic is affecting adults and children; statistics show that over one-third of the adult population, or approximately 34 million people in the United States, are obese.
Obesity can lead to serious health consequences, including diabetes, breathing problems, arthritis, reproductive complications, heart disease, and premature death. It is estimated that approximately 300,000 deaths a year may be attributed to obesity. The primary concern behind obesity is not one of appearance, but rather, health.
Exercise and healthy eating habits are the recommended means of combating obesity. However, with the increase of obesity, the diet and pharmaceutical industries have become involved in developing weight-loss solutions. One prescription diet drug developed to promote weight loss that became extremely popular is sibutramine hydrochloride monohydrate, known by the brand name Meridia, which is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories.
Meridia is a prescription medication that is used to promote weight loss by affecting the chemicals in the body that are related to weight-loss maintenance. It is meant to be used in conjunction with a weight-loss program that includes sensible eating and exercise. The weight-loss program is to be monitored by a physician. Meridia was developed to be used by people who are considerably overweight, meaning they have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, or by people who have a BMI of 27 in addition to other health issues, such as high blood pressure or cholesterol.
As with any type of pharmaceutical drug, there are risks and side effects associated with Meridia. Merdia has been reported to affect blood pressure, causing an increase in some patients. In addition, Meridia may cause dizziness, restlessness, or difficulty concentrating. The manufacturer states that Meridia must not be taken by individuals who are not at medical risk because of their weight, have been diagnosed with a coronary artery disease, have irregular heart beats, have had prior heart attacks, or have had congestive heart failure. It should also not be taken by people who have had a stroke or experienced the symptoms of a stroke, have uncontrolled or poorly controlled high blood pressure, have been diagnosed with depression or other psychiatric illnesses, or are taking medications for psychiatric illnesses. People who are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), or medications that affect serotonin in the brain (SSRIs) also should not take Meridia. Patients with liver disease, kidney disease, who are pregnant or breastfeeding, who have had seizures, who have narrow angle glaucoma, or who are under 18 or over 65, should not take Meridia.
Meridia has been associated with serotonin syndrome, which can be life-threatening. Other side effects of the drug include abnormal dreams, an abnormal gait, amnesia, anger, trouble concentrating, aggravated depression, speech disorders, mood changes, short term memory loss, twitches, dizziness, and nightmares.
If you have taken Meridia and it caused serious medical problems, you should consider speaking with an attorney. If you experienced a heart attack, renal failure, vision problems, or any of a number of dangerous side effects, it is highly recommended that you speak with an attorney and talk about a potential lawsuit against the drug manufacturer. Additionally, if a loved one died as a result of complications from taking Meridia, you should contact an attorney, and ask them about whether you should file a wrongful death lawsuit.
When you contact the attorney, they will ask you a series of questions about your medical history, the illness that you developed, and your medical bills and other financial damages as a result of taking Meridia. Make sure that you have all of your records on hand when you speak with your attorney.
Every case is different, so it is crucial that you speak with an attorney who is knowledgeable about pharmaceutical cases and personal injury claims. A lawyer will help you seek compensation for damages and justice.