A Meridia Tragedy

“I wouldn’’t have risked my health or my life if I knew the damage it could cause.”


I started Meridia on 2/2/01 and ended taking it on 3/18/01. The following will tell what happened to me.

After having my two children, I felt the need to shed a few pounds. I was energetic and very healthy. I went to my family physician and he gave me a complete health physical, an EKG, and blood work. I was told I was in good health and was given the Meridia prescription.

I began taking Meridia, 10 mg. and within a few days I started feeling muscle pain in my shoulders. Over the next few days, the pain went into my wrists and hand. I then had weakness in my arms which got so bad that I was unable to use my arms and hand at al. When I went to my 1st monthly appointment to renew my prescription, I complained of pain and weakness of my and hands. I was told it couldn’’t be Meridia, that the pain and weakness was probably due to the cold and snowy weather. I was frustrated and scared. Without the use of m arms and hands, I was unable to care for my one year old baby boy and my four year old little girl. I had family and friends helping me with everything. My husband couldn’’t understand what ha happened in such a short time.

Things only got worse. Within the next few weeks, the muscle pain and weakness began in my legs. I then went to my doctor and gave him an enormous list of adverse reactions such as: muscle weakness, numbness of arms and legs extreme fatigue, memory loss/confusion, extreme menstrual cramping, etc. The list had no end. My doctor was overwhelmed. Blood was taken and I was told to stay on Meridia and wait a few days for results from blood work. In 2 days, I was in the ER unable to use my arms and les and extremely fatigued. I stopped Meridia that day.

The hospital gave me an I.V. and Demerol (for 3 days). I received a CT Scan, MRI, blood work (day and night). Nothing was found. no MS, no lupus, NOTHING. They said I could go home when I could walk with assistance. I left the hospital with very limited use of my body.

Over the next few months, I felt like a guinea pig, taking several medications and nothing seemed to help. I had no muscle strength. To add to the pain and weakness, other symptoms began to happen. Dizzy spells and falling (always forward) blurry vision, loss of memory, extreme nervousness and insomnia. Doctors started prescribing Xanax because I was too anxious. No one seemed to know how to help me. No wonder I was anxious.

I was unable to function around my children. Mommy wasn’’t Mommy anymore.

I learned that most of these side effects were from stopping Meridia, cold turkey. Have bounced from doctor to doctor and haven’t received help for my continuous conditions. I have been told that I have a severe, unclassical case of rheumatoid arthritis, an auto-immune disease (for life). I have been stripped of my healthy immune system. My body broke down and I will never be able to reverse this condition.

It has been a year since I began this life change. I struggle daily to move and function in my daily life. I still have severe swelling, pain and weakness in muscles and joints. I am limited with the use of my hands and I can only stand 10-15 minutes at a time.

I am only 33 years old and have my husband and 58 year old parents taking care of me and my children.

I feel that my life has been altered unfairly as I was very uninformed about Meridia and wouldn’’t have risked my health or my life if I knew the damage it could cause.

Just recently, I was diagnosed with a TIA (Stroke) just in the past few months. I found my speech slurred and my left side went numb.

Can anyone tell me what is going on with my body and health. I now live in fear that I may have another stroke or even worse.

Every dream I ever had as a woman, mother and a professional has been lost. Meridia has ruined my life as well as my family’s.

It is obvious that Meridia had something to do with my immune system breakdown. IT SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED!!

Thank you for taking time to read my story. I hope by releasing this information to you, that others may be helped.

Lisa Bell



This is Survivor Story number 30.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

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