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Originally developed and marketed by Knoll Pharmaceuticals, Meridia is the most popular brand name of sibutramine. Abbott Laboratories was the last pharmaceutical company to produce and sell meridia until the FDA prohibited the sales of this drug in 2010.

sibutramine hydrochloride chemical structure

Fig 1. Sibutramine Hydrochloride chemical structure

Table of Contents


Meridia is a diet drug that is medically classified as an appetite suppressant. When combined with proper diet and exercise, users can take in considerably less calories than they burn off. Athletes have used this drug to help curb appetite, aiding weight and body fat loss.

meridia abbott

Fig 2. Meridia by Abbott

How it Works

Unlike most other appetite suppressant drugs, meridia is not a releasing agent. It does not get inside the cells to boost the release of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin. Instead, as an uptake inhibitor, meridia works outside the cells to stop serotonin from being reabsorbed by the serotonin norepinephrine re-uptake receptors. This allows appetite control to last longer.

What is Serotonin?

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the body that regulates mood, appetite, and sleep. Usually, serotonin inhibiting substances are used in anti-depressant drugs. Furthermore, these substances are also used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other health ailments.

Medical Uses

Before getting banned, meridia was used in combination with a reduced calorie diet and exercise to help people lose weight or maintain their weight loss.


One clinical study done on 5000 patients of both genders, and all ages, showed that on average they lost 10% of their original body weight. Interestingly, in a time span of 30 years, meridia was the first drug to be approved for obesity treatment.

Use by Bodybuilders

Bodybuilders report a noticeable appetite decrease when taking meridia in the mornings, and they are able to avoid cheat meals during the day.

However, since meridia was banned, it's more difficult for athletes to acquire this drug on the black market. As a result, meridia use has dropped significantly because athletes have instead turned to stimulants for appetite suppression.


Meridia is a schedule IV drug in the United States. This means:

The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule III.

The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.

Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule III.

Due to clinical data indicating an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, Meridia was voluntarily withdrawn from the US market by the manufacturer in October, 2010.

Half Life

Meridia is metabolized by cytochrome P450 isozyme CYP3A4, resulting in 2 active amines. These are called the primary and secondary amines (or just active metabolites 1 and 2) with half-lives of 14 and 16 hours. Peak plasma concentrations are reached after 3 to 4 hours.


Typically, the dose is taken in the mornings at 10 milligrams (mgs) per day, with or without food. If results are not adequate during the first 4 weeks, the user could increase the dose up to 15mgs per day.

Total length of use was several months or more, and, unfortunately, many users recovered weight once they stopped taking the drug.

For bodybuilders the same dosages applies. Though, there could be some variation due to size (weight).

Side Effects

Meridia can be habit forming.

Those with a history of heart conditions will have a higher chance of such cardiovascular problems as high blood pressure and increased heart rate when using this drug.

Other side effects include dry mouth, nausea, stomach problems, insomnia, dizziness, headache, and joint/muscle pain.

Insomnia and jitters are the most common complaints seen on bodybuilding forums.

Trade Names

  • Meridia
  • Sibutramine
  • Reductil
  • Siredia
  • Sibutrex


Want to read about Meridia on our forums? check out these threads:

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Written by
Steve Smi (Also known as Steve Smith), has over 12 years of experience in the bodybuilding and fitness industry. He's the co-Host of the popular Evolutionary Radio Podcast - over 500,000 listens! He has been a personal trainer and writer for the last 10 years with over 1000 articles written. He's been a moderator on forums for over 10 years. Steve holds the following certifications and records: NASM Personal Trainer NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist Florida Local Powerlifting champion Top writer for 2019 Fitness rated

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