What is it?
Reductil (Sibutramine) is a weight loss drug that affects your appetite. It makes you think you are full, meaning that you are less likely to get cravings and eat to excess.
It is manufactured by the drug company Abbott. After clinical trials, it was approved by the U.S Food and Drink Association in 1997 for sale in the United States; there it is sold under the name Meridia. The medication was approved by the European Medicines Agency and NICE (The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) in October 2001 for sale in Europe and prescription on the NHS.
Reductil will work for some people and not for others; when it does suit the patient, weight loss of up to 7% has been experienced over 6 to 12 months.
How does it work?
The drug works in the brain, rather than the stomach. In the brain there are neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that send messages and impulses between nerve cells and the brain. When a message is being sent, the neurotransmitters are released from the nerve cell and then afterwards reabsorbed. The two main neurotransmitters that Sibutramine affects are serotonin and noradrenalin, which control mood and feelings of satisfaction. Reductil blocks the re-absorption of these neurotransmitters, meaning the levels of serotonin and noradrenalin remain higher for longer following eating.
This leads to the body feeling fuller and more satisfied after you have eaten. For those who struggle with cravings and overeating, this helps them change their eating habits and thus lose weight. The new eating patterns must be continued after the patient has stopped taking the medication or else the lost weight will just be put back on.
How can I get it?
Reductil is a prescription-only drug. This means a doctor must confirm that Reductil is safe and useful for you to take.
Your GP may prescribe you Reductil on the NHS if he or she believes you are a suitable candidate but most NHS Gps are reluctant to prescribe this medication because of the cost.
You can also get Reductil privately, either by having a consultation with a doctor face-to-face or through an online clinic, where you will have an online consultation.
Who can use Reductil?
Reductil is suitable for you if:
- You are between 18 and 65.
- You have already entered into a committed program of dieting and exercise but are still dangerously overweight.
- You are committed to continuing with a program of healthy eating and exercise in conjunction with taking the medication.
Reductil is not suitable if:
- The problems with your weight are caused by something other than excessive calorie intake.
- You have high blood pressure or have experienced a stroke, heart attack or have any form of heart disease.
- You have a history of depressive or psychiatric illness.
- You suffer from liver or kidney problems.
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
The list above is just the most common reasons patients should not take Reductil. There are some other, rarer contra-indications which is why you need to consult with a doctor before taking this medication.
What are the side effects?
Reductil can have side effects, though mostly these only manifest during the first four weeks of treatment and then stop.
The most common:
Constipation, aggravation of existing haemorrhoids, nausea, headaches, sweating, altered taste, pins and needles, sleeplessness, anxiety, light-headedness, and effects on the cardiovascular system like hot flushes or palpitations.
Some of the rarer and more serious side effects:
A significant increase in blood pressure or heart rate, depression, rashes, liver problems.
This is not an exhaustive list; you can read all the possible side effects and the likelihood of experiencing them in the patient information leaflet you will be given if you are prescribed the drug.
Aside from the side effects, have there been any other concerns about Reductil?
Reductil is generally acknowledged to be a safe drug to take to combat obesity and is widely prescribed. In 2002, the drug was suspended in Italy after 50 adverse reactions were reported. However, after an exhaustive investigation the Italian medical authorities ruled that it was safe to take and that the health benefits outweighed the risks.
Further concern was raised after a women in New Zealand suffered a heart attack while taking Reductil. It was discovered that she was suffering from an undiagnosed heart disease called long QT syndrome which was exacerbated by the drug, as it is not suitable for patients with heart disease. The medication now has specific warnings on the packaging regarding this illness.
The biggest risk with this drug is buying it illegally, as there is a big trade in counterfeit drugs like Reductil and Viagra.
How do I make sure my medication is genuine?
Make sure you buy from a registered clinic, whose practice and doctors are licensed by the relevant bodies for that country. We recommend The Online Clinic for Reductil as they satisfy the criteria set out here and they offer next day delivery as standard.
Check that the medication comes from a registered pharmacy
Check the packaging - the outside packaging should look like this, with the name of the manufacturer (Abbott) and the batch number on it.
One half of the capsule is blue and the other half will be either yellow (10 mg dose) or white (15 mg dose).