Meds and you

Updated 15 January 2015

Sibutramine

Sibutramine is the active ingredient of Ectiva capsules (Nappi code: 710256-001, 710257-001) & Reductil capsules (Nappi code: 847844-005, 853534-004).

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Sibutramine is the active ingredient of Ectiva capsules (Nappi code: 710256-001, 710257-001) & Reductil capsules (Nappi code: 847844-005, 853534-004).

General information

Sibutramine is an appetite suppressant. Appetite suppressants are drugs that are meant to repress feelings of hunger so that an individual eats less.

In South Africa sibutramine is registered for the treatment of the management of obesity including weight loss in combination with a reduced-calorie diet.

This drug should only be administered in combination with a weight-loss programme that includes diet and exercise.

After starting treatment with this drug, your doctor needs to monitor your heart rate and blood pressure regularly.

For this medication to be effective, it has to be taken regularly, even if you do not notice an immediate effect. This medicine will not leave you thin for the rest of your life: after treatment with sibutramine you need to adjust your lifestyle, or the weight you've shed, will return.

Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Avoid any other dangerous activity until you know how this medication affects you.

How does sibutramine work?

This drug acts on chemical messengers (noradrenalin and serotonin) in the brain. By increasing the levels of these, this medicine should make you feel less hungry and make you feel satisfied after eating smaller meals.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 5
Available as: sibutramine is available as capsules.
What does it do? Sibutramine suppresses appetite
Overdose risk: medium
Dependence risk: low
Is sibutramine available as a generic? yes
Is sibutramine available on prescription only? yes

User information

Onset of effect: within 60 minutes
Duration of action: up to 24 hours
Stopping this medicine: complete the course as directed by your doctor.
Prolonged use: treatment with this drug should not exceed one year. Do not continue should weight loss not be maintained.

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you currently have, or had a history of eating disorders
  • you have a history of mental health problems
  • you have Tourette’s syndrome
  • you are currently being, or in the last 14 days have been, treated with monoamine oxidase inhibitor antidepressants
  • you are currently taking any other medication
  • you have liver or kidney disease
  • you have heart disease
  • you have an overactive thyroid
  • you have an enlarged prostate
  • you have been diagnosed with phaochromocytoma
  • you have glaucoma
  • you have a history of drug or substance abuse
  • you are younger than 18
  • you are older than 65
  • you have high blood pressure
  • you have or are prone to develop gallstones
  • you have a history of stroke

Pregnancy: avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.
Porphyria: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.
Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in children under the age of 18 years.
The elderly: caution is advised in the elderly as side effects are more likely to occur.
Driving and hazardous work: caution is advised as use of this medication may lead to dizziness, light-headedness and/or sedation. Avoid such activities until you know how this medication affects you.
Alcohol: avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication.

Possible side effects

Side Effect
Frequency
Consult your doctor

Common
Rare
Only if severe
In all cases
constipation
X

X

dry mouth
X

X

insomnia
X

X

headache
X

X

nausea
X

X

anxiety
X

X

sweating
X

X

dizziness
X

X

palpitations
X

X

hot flushes
X

X

increased blood pressure

X

X
depression

X

X
seizures

X

X

Interactions

Drug interactions

ephedrine increased heart rate
norpseudoephedrine increased heart rate
erythromycin increased risk of sibutramine toxicity
ketoconazole increased risk of sibutramine toxicity
ciclosporin increased risk of sibutramine toxicity
monoamine oxidase inhibitor antidepressants risk of seizures and dangerously high blood pressure. take at least 14 days apart
lithium risk of dangerously high levels of serotonin in the body
SSRI antidepressants risk of dangerously high levels of serotonin in the body
sumatriptan risk of dangerously high levels of serotonin in the body
fentanyl risk of dangerously high levels of serotonin in the body
pethidine risk of dangerously high levels of serotonin in the body
tramadol risk of dangerously high levels of serotonin in the body
dextromethorphan risk of dangerously high levels of serotonin in the body
St John's wort risk of dangerously high levels of serotonin in the body
phenobarbital possible reduced effect of sibutramine
phenytoin possible reduced effect of sibutramine
carbamazepine possible reduced effect of sibutramine
rifampicin possible reduced effect of sibutramine
dexamethasone possible reduced effect of sibutramine

Overdose action

An overdose of this medication can be fatal. Seek immediate emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Adults, oral: 10mg once daily. If response is inadequate, the dose may be increased to 15mg once daily after four weeks.

(This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.)

 
 

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