EU suicide warning on diet pill20th July 2007
The European drug regulator has warned of an increased risk of suicide among those who take the weight-loss drug Acomplia alongside anti-depressants.
The European Medicines Agency said patients with severe depression should not be prescribed Acomplia, which is manufactured by France-based pharma giant sanofi-aventis.
Acomplia, whose generic name is rimonabant, was touted as a miracle pill after it was found to aid weight-loss of up to 10% in dieters, as well as helping them quit smoking.
The warning comes only weeks after an committee advising the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the drug should be banned, also citing an increased risk of suicide.
One study showed that of 120 patients taking the drug, two have committed suicide and one was reported to be considering it. One man had also tried to strangle his daughter.
The agency stopped short of calling for the drug to be banned, but said conditions should be placed on its prescription, and it warned that anyone who developed depression while taking rimonabant should stop taking it.
While the committee examining the drug concluded that the benefits of the drug outweighed the risks, the UK's regulatory body said it would write to doctors informing them about the updated prescribing information.
The drug rimonabant was first sold in the United Kingdom soon after the European Commission approved it.
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Title: EU suicide warning on diet pill
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 3521
Date Added: 20th Jul 2007