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Concerns about weight-loss pill for people with depression

The European Medicines Agency has advised people with ongoing severe depression or those taking antidepressants not to take the weight loss drug Rimonabant, brand name Acomplia.

There are concerns that the pill could cause an increased suicide risk in that specific group of patients.

Acomplia is currently prescribed to aid weight-loss in people with abdominal obesity plus an additional risk factor such as Type 2 diabetes.  

The European Medicines Agency still wants the drug to be licensed but wants conditions placed on prescriptions.

The National Institute of Clinical and Health Excellence (NICE) is currently assessing the drug for use on the NHS.

“Anyone worried about their treatment should contact their GP,” said Matt Hunt, Information Manager at Diabetes UK.

"People should keep in mind that currently this warning is targeted at those who have severe depression and those taking anti-depressants.

“Nevertheless we know that people with diabetes have a higher risk of developing depression but this needs to be taken into account when prescribing the drug.

"When it comes to trying to lose weight, Diabetes UK would always recommend eating a healthy diet and doing regular physical activity as the first and best step to losing weight.”

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