Diet and Weight Loss News

Four people on rimonabant had killed themselves

Written By Betty van der Mark on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 | 4:56 AM

A major trial linked the drug to a slightly higher suicide rate. The trial wasn't testing the drug's weight loss benefits, but whether it might prevent heart problems. It was supposed to follow more than 18,000 patients in 42 countries for three years. Roughly half were given rimonabant while the other half were given a placebo. European officials shut it down and pulled the drug from the market. It was never licensed in the United States, but was sold as Acomplia, Riobant, Slimona, as well as under other names in Europe. "Obviously the suicides are tragedies," said Eric Topol, director of Scripps Translational Science Institute and the study's lead author. "But we accept trade-offs in medicine and the psychiatric side effects might have been acceptable if we had found greater cardiovascular benefits later," he said.

He said rimonabant might still have been useful for fighting obesity, and that measures like stomach stapling surgeries also come with significant risk. Other experts disagreed. "Any mortality associated with cardiovascular preventive therapy is generally viewed as unacceptable," wrote Matthijs Boekholdt and Ron Peters of the department of cardiology in the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, in an accompanying commentary.
Source: MSNBC