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March 19, 2002

Other Medications, Weight and Weight Loss

Question from Berkley, Michigan, USA:

I am 26 years old, one-quarter Native American, I have a family history of type 2 diabetes, a BMI [body mass index] of 37, and I developed borderline hypoglycemia when I was 18 years old. I am now taking Meridia. Is this safe for people with diabetes?

Answer:

Meridia is one of two medications approved for long-term management of obesity. It has been used to induce weight loss in patients with type�2 diabetes who are obese and seems to be able to improve blood sugar control. The side effects can be issues for patients with type 2 diabetes, especially the hypertension.

Long-term experience is as good as anything for this problem. The big issue is whether Meridia, or any other medical obesity therapy, can induce a long-term weight loss. Maintenance of beneficial effects on diabetes are tied to the ability of Meridia to prevent weight gain and keep off the weight initially lost.

JTL