Sibutramine is a monamine reuptake inhibitor drug (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) that can be used as an oral anorexiant. By reducing the uptake of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine, the levels will then increase in the synaptic clefts, enhancing the feeling of being appetite being satiated. Sibutramine cannot be taken in conjunction with any monoamine oxidase inhibitors or any other serotonin reuptake inhibitors, due to the increased risk of serotonin syndrome.
While sibutramine’s mechanism of action is similar to some tricyclic antidepressants, the drug does not exhibit antidepressant properties when tested in animal studies.
Sibutramine was approved by the FDA in 1997 for use in the treatment of obesity. However, in 2010 the drug was outlawed primarily due to the adverse cardiovascular effects, but sibutramine has also been linked to sudden death, renal failure and gastrointestinal problems.