Meridia is a drug for treating obesity and preventing weight regain thereafter. It works by boosting up the activities of chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain which in turn gives a feeling of being full thereby suppressing appetite. The drug has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for overweight people and is available only after prescription.
Like any other prescription drug, Meridia also has certain side-effects ranging from mild ones such as a headache, constipation, mouth dryness, back pain, and insomnia to severe ones including dyspepsia, sinusitis, flu syndrome and pharyngitis.
These symptoms can be minimized by following certain safety precautions regarding lifestyle, drug interactions, and timely monitoring as well as reporting the ill-effects.
One ‘must-do’ task for the patients consuming Meridia is to consult the physician regularly so that he can monitor the post drug symptoms. Since Meridia works on neurotransmitter-action, an increment in blood pressure and/or heartbeat is the expected drug-effect and therefore, timely monitoring of these fluctuations can prevent the onset of severe ones.
In a case of any allergic symptoms such as rashes and hives or prolonged dryness of mouth, consultation with a doctor should be planned immediately.
Even, if the drug is not working, no decisions regarding increment in the dosage should be taken without physician’s consultation.
Precautions regarding drug interactions
There is a list of drugs that are not compatible with Meridia. One such class is Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) that includes drugs such as phenelzine and selegiline. The concomitant use of Meridia with these medications has been shown to be fatal and therefore FDA suggests a gap of at least 2 weeks between discontinuation of MAO an initiation of Meridia.
A series of symptoms that include excitement, hyperreflexia, confusion, anxiety, agitation, tremor, hemiballismus, shivering, emesis, ataxia and tachycardia and so on all together forms “serotonin syndrome” that results from drug interactions between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Meridia and migraine therapy agents such as Imitrex and certain opioids including lithium, fentanyl, meperidine or dextromethorphan.
Apart from these medications, alcohol intake and consumption of oral contraceptive pills along with Meridia is highly discouraged.
Also, certain decongestants, cough cold syrups, and allergy medications are also incompatible with Meridia as they raise consumer’s blood pressure, further adding on to complications.
Therefore, the consumer should be cautious enough about the same and should inform the doctor about all the medicines he has been taking before beginning with Meridia course.
Precautions for patients with different medical conditions
Overweight patients with a history of medical conditions such as seizures, bleeding, gallstones, glaucoma, irregular beats, real failure and hepatic dysfunction are not treated with Meridia as it can alleviate the sufferings due to existing medical conditions or even cause them to reappear.
Therefore, Meridia should be taken after the complete medical checkup by the physician so that risk of fetal side effects is minimized.
Take away note
There is a list of precautions regarding drug interaction, side effects and physiological state of the Meridia consumer that needs to be studied and followed thoroughly after discussion with the medical practitioners. And in a case of even mild symptoms physician should be consulted as soon as possible.