Rimonabant and Sibutramine

Rimonabant and Sibutramine weight loss drugs have several similarities and differences. Both these drugs have one in common – they were approved for anti-obesity treatment in 90’s, but in 2016, these drugs are not available.

Rimonabant was withdrawn from global pharmaceutical market in 2008, but Sibutramine – in 2010. Rimonabant pills have been sold at pharmacies about 2 years, while Sibutramine pills have been marketed for over 10 years.

Sibutramine and Rimonabant were withdrawn from markets of the developed countries for different reasons.

Sibutramine was withdrawn because it caused severe cardiovascular side effects (stroke, heart attack)
Rimonabant was withdrawn because it caused severe CNS side effects (depression and anxiety)

Rimonabant pills were developed by Sanofi Company and were marketed under the trade names Zimulti and Acomplia. Sibutramine pills were developed by Abbott Company and were produced by both Abbott and dozens of other pharmaceutical companies for years.

The most popular brand of Sibutramine pills by Abbott is Meridia. This brand name was very popular in the USA, Canada, UK, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Germany and Spain.

It should be noted that Rimonabant (Acomplia) pills were approved by the FDA and have never been available in the USA. Sibutramine (Meridia) pills were approved by the FDA in 1997 and withdrawn from the U.S. market of weight loss products in 2010.

Rimonabant and Sibutramine have identical indications for use and similar therapeutic properties. Both these drugs are appetite modulators that help people stop overeating and reduce the number of meals

It is noteworthy that Sibutramine and Rimonabant are not the only drugs, reducing the appetite, that were withdrawn from European market. In early 2000’s, the EMA withdrew the marketing authorization of several anorectic drugs, including Phentermine, Mazindol and Amfepramone.

The only European country, where anorectic drugs are still available – is UK. People can get Phentermine pills in British clinics. These pills are registered in the UK under the brand name – Ionamin

In other European countries, prescription anorectic drugs are not available. Therefore, after withdrawal of Rimonabant, Sibutramine, Phentermine and other anorectic drugs, European doctors have to prescribe their patients a fat blocker – Orlistat (Xenical) or OTC slimming pills, containing only natural active ingredients.