Meridia Side Effects
The most common documented side effects of the Meridia diet pills are dry mouth, anorexia, insomnia, constipation and headache. In placebo controlled trials, the difference of the incidence of side effects on or off Meridia is not more than 2%. Generally, patients found the side effects tolerable and the duration of them is short-lived. Over a period of 1 to 3 weeks, the body adapts to the drug in 50% of the patients and there are few complaints of continued adverse reactions.
The most serious side effect of Meridia is an increase in the blood pressure and/or the heart rate, seen in 2.1 to 2.6% of people on the medication. Meridia was removed from the market in Italy after 50 adverse events and 2 deaths were attributed to its use.
However, in the majority of individuals, the increase is of little clinical significance. Only 0.4 % of people initiated on Meridia diet pills required cessation of therapy because of this complication. To exclude this possibility, pre-existing heart disease should be ruled out prior to starting therapy.
During the course of drug administration, cardiovascular parameters should be watched closely for abnormally sustained stimulation. A dose reduction from 10 mg to 5 mg is justified in case of a persistent increase in heart rate and blood pressure. If the effect persists after dose reduction, the drug might have to be discontinued.
Other individuals who exhibit allergic side effects like itching, rashes, blebs, swelling of the eyelids or lips are not suitable for continuation of the drug.
Simultaneous use of this drug along with other centrally acting or cardiovascular drugs can lead to a widening of the spectrum of side effects and should be avoided. For the same reason, use of other weight loss drugs along with Meridia is not advisable. Use of Meridia diet pills in people with eating disorders like anorexia nervosa or bulimia will exacerbate the nutritional side-effects seen in these populations and re-enforces abnormal behavior.
Other side effects of Meridia involving the digestive, musculoskeletal, respiratory system and other organ systems are rarely seen.