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Sep 13, 2010 10:04 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

FDA may pull diet pill over heart attack risk

Federal health scientists are considering pulling Abbott Laboratories' diet pill Meridia off the market, based on data that it increases heart attack and stroke.

The Food and Drug Administration has posted its safety review of Meridia online, ahead of a meeting where outside experts will weigh in on the drug's heart risks. The FDA will ask its experts to consider a range of actions for restricting Meridia, including pulling the drug from the market.

Meridia has been on the market since 1997, but data released late last year showed patients taking the drug had more than 11 percent risk of heart attack and stroke compared with 10 percent of those taking placebo.

European regulators pulled the product off the market in January.

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