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Sibutramine (Molecule of the Month for June 2007)

Meridia, Reductil

Sibutramine is a drug for the treatment of obesity. It is a centrally acting stimulant chemically related to amphetamines. Sibutramine is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance in the United States. Sibutramine acts by increasing serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain. The serotonergic action, in particular, is thought to influence appetite.

Sibutramine is a neurotransmitter reuptake inhibitor that helps enhance satiety by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin (by 53%), norepinephrine (by 54%), and dopamine (by 16%). It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in November 1997 for the treatment of obesity.

Frequently encountered side effects are: dry mouth, paradoxically increased appetite, nausea, strange taste in the mouth, anorgasmia and delayed ejaculation, upset stomach, constipation, trouble sleeping, dizziness, drowsiness, menstrual cramps/pain, headache, flushing, or joint/muscle pain.

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)



Picture of Sibutramine

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Sibutramine structure
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Picture of Sibutramine

C17 H26 Cl N

Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for June 2007 )