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FAQs about Reductil Sibutramine
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What is Reductil?

Reductil, an oral prescription medication, is used for the medical management of obesity, including weight loss and weight maintenance. Reductil can only be prescribed by a medical professional. With sibutramine as its active ingredient, Reductil is meant for people who are looking to lose a significant amount of weight as they are either overweight or obese.

Who is Reductil suitable for?

Reductil is suitable for people who are looking to enhance their weight loss program which already includes a reduced calorie diet and appropriate physical activity. It is recommended for overweight people with an initial body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, or for overweight people with a BMI of 27 or higher with medical risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol. Your doctor is the best person to determine your BMI and decide if you meet the criteria required to take this drug.

However, Reductil may not be suitable for you if you have high blood pressure, as one of the side effects of Reductil is to raise the blood pressure. If you are prescribed Reductil, you should be prepared to follow an intense exercise and low calorie diet routine. If you do not lose at least 2kg weight within the first 4 weeks, or 5% of your initial bodyweight after the first three months of treatment, your doctor may stop your Reductil prescription.

How should Reductil be taken?

The recommended dose of Reductil is one 10mg capsule a day with water, in the morning. Reductil can be taken on an empty stomach or after a meal. Certain patients who do not respond adequately to one 10mg capsule a day, may be prescribed a 15mg capsule instead, provided that the 10mg capsule was well tolerated. You must follow your doctor's instructions on how and when to take Reductil.

What results can I expect when taking Reductil?

Every individual responds differently to Reductil when it's used as part of a comprehensive weight loss program. You may be able to lose 4 or more pounds of body weight in the first month. However, if you find that you do not lose at least 4 pounds during the first month, you should notify your doctor so the doctor can re-evaluate your situation. Your doctor may wish to change your Reductil dosage.

Clinical trials have shown that Reductil is successful in producing weight loss in patients who are obese. 85% of patients who took Reductil lost at least 5% of their initial body weight, with 57% losing at least 10% of their initial bodyweight.

However, it has been noted that most people on Reductil lose weight within the first 6 months of treatment. Scientific studies have further concluded that people who lost weight and remained on Reductil therapy maintained their weight loss.

Will I regain lost weight?

It is possible that you will regain lost weight once the treatment is discontinued. You will keep the weight off if you retain the positive lifestyle and dietary changes that helped you to lose weight.

How does Reductil work?

Reductil is an appetite suppressant and works by affecting appetite control centres in the brain. The active ingredient in Reductil is a substance known as sibutramine, which directly targets natural body chemicals that are stored in the nerve cells, preventing these from being reabsorbed, giving a feeling of fulfilment from eating, reducing your food intake.

Medical studies conducted in overweight people revealed that Reductil (Meridia), when ingested along with a reduced calorie diet, produces a significant reduction in body weight. Reductil should always be used as part of a comprehensive weight loss program but only under the supervision of your doctor.

Can I get it on the NHS?

Yes, this drug has been approved by the NHS. If you live in the UK and your doctor believes that you are a suitable candidate for Reductil weight loss treatment, he can prescribe it for you on the NHS.

Is there anything else I should be aware of when using Reductil?

You should ensure that you see a doctor regularly whilst you are on this drug, so that your blood pressure and heart rate are under constant observation. Sibutramine is known to elevate blood pressure and heart rate to varying degrees in some patients. You are advised to see a doctor straight away if you suffer from any shortness of breath, chest pain or swollen ankles.

Is Reductil available on private prescription?

Yes, Reductil is available on a private prescription, either from a private clinic or from an online clinic.

Will I lose weight by just taking Reductil?

There might be a possibility. However, embarking on a change in lifestyle with regard to your eating habits and physical exercise will help you lose weight more quickly.  You will need to maintain your new weight after you have stopped the Reductil treatment or else you risk putting weight back on.

Will I suffer from any side effects by taking Reductil?

As with most prescription medications, certain side effects could be experienced with Reductil. For most people, these are not severe and may even go un-noticed. It should be emphasised that not everyone will suffer from all or any of these symptoms.

Common side effects may include:

  • Restlessness or tremor
  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Mild headache or dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth or an unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Constipation

Should you experience any of the serious side effects mentioned below, seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately; you might be asked to stop the Reductil treatment:

  • An allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives)
  • Easy bleeding, bruising under the skin, bloody gums or blood in your urine or stool
  • New or worsening shortness of breath
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision)
  • Seizures

What is the normal Reductil packing?

Genuine Abbot Reductil will always come in its blister packing and will have the Abbott logo stamped on them. The medicine will also have a batch number. All this can easily be verified at any registered pharmacy.

What is the recommended Reductil dosage?

Reductil comes in two strengths 10mg and 15mg tablets and the recommended dosage is 10mg per day. Should you find that you are not losing the stipulated weight or losing much less than the stipulated weight, you can consult a doctor, who will assess your diet and exercise program and may increased the Reductil dosage to 15mg per day provided the 10mg dose was well tolerated. Your doctor is the right person to determine the correct starting dose for you, do not change your dosage without consulting them.

How long should I take Reductil?

Your doctor is the best person to determine how long you should take Reductil. However, the safety and effectiveness of Reductil has not been determined beyond one year at this time.

Who should not take Reductil?

Reductil should not be taken by people who:

  • Have uncontrolled or poorly controlled high blood pressure, because Reductil substantially increases blood pressure in some patients
  • Are taking prescription medicines called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) for depression, Parkinson's disease, or any other disorder
  • Are taking other weight loss medications that act on the brain like phentermine, including other prescription and over-the-counter medications and herbal products
  • Have had prior allergic reactions to Reductil ingredients
  • Have a diagnosis of coronary artery disease and/or who have angina pectoris (heart-related chest pain)
  • Have arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats)
  • Have had a prior heart attack
  • Have a diagnosis of congestive heart failure
  • Have severe liver or kidney disease
  • Have had a stroke or have symptoms of a stroke (transient ischemic attacks [TIAs])
  • Are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant
  • Are breast-feeding an infant
  • Are suffering from anorexia nervosa
  • Are taking prescription medications for depression
  • Have had seizures (epilepsy or convulsions)
  • Have an eye disorder called narrow angle glaucoma
  • Are under 16 years of age
  • Are taking other medications that regulate the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain like Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor, Luvox, or Paxil

It is very important that you make sure that your primary care doctor and your other health care providers know what medications you take and what medical conditions and allergies you have. Combing Reductil with another medication could potentially be very harmful.

Never take any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines without first talking to your doctor, especially weight-loss products, tryptophan (L-tryptophan, 5-HTP), decongestants, antidepressants, cough suppressants, or migraine medicines.

By Rozane MS
All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.


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