Slim drug from Taiwan withdrawn

US pharmaceutical firm Abbott Laboratories said that it will withdraw slimming drug Sibutramine from Taiwan over health concerns.

Abbott made the announcement after Taiwan's Department of Health ordered 15 kinds of slimming drugs, including Sibutramine, be removed from shelves on 11 October 2010.

Those weight-loss drugs that had already been sold must be recalled, the council said.

The council issued the order after some 302 Taiwanese fell ill after taking slimming drugs containing Sibutramine. Press reports said that at least one woman died after taking Sibutramine.

In its announcement, Abbott said while it still believes Sibutramine "has positive effects" for those who are suitable to take it, it was willing to obey Taiwan's instruction and withdraw the drug.

Alternative prescriptions recommended

"We suggest those who are taking Sibutramine as a slimming drug to ask doctors for alternative prescriptions. Patients can get refund for the purchased Sibutramine," it added.

Several countries' health authorities have expressed concern about the safety of Sibutramine, after a study showed it has limited slimming effect but, in people with history of cardiovascular illnesses, can increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke.

Abbott Laboratories withdrew Sibutramine from the United States and Australia.

(Reuters Health, October 2010) 

Read more:
Slimming: the psychiatric effect

Weight loss: the ultimate guide

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
32% - 9435 votes
68% - 19997 votes