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The effect of sibutramine prescribing in routine clinical practice on cardiovascular outcomes: a cohort study in the United Kingdom

Hayes, JF; Bhaskaran, K; Batterham, R; Smeeth, L; Douglas, I; (2015) The effect of sibutramine prescribing in routine clinical practice on cardiovascular outcomes: a cohort study in the United Kingdom. International Journal of Obesit , 39 (9) pp. 1359-1364. 10.1038/ijo.2015.86. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: The marketing authorization for the weight loss drug sibutramine was suspended in 2010 following a major trial that showed increased rates of non-fatal myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular events in patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease. In routine clinical practice, sibutramine was already contraindicated in patients with cardiovascular disease and so the relevance of these influential clinical trial findings to the 'real World' population of patients receiving or eligible for the drug is questionable. We assessed rates of myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular events in a cohort of patients prescribed sibutramine or orlistat in the United Kingdom. SUBJECTS/METHODS: A cohort of patients prescribed weight loss medication was identified within the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. Rates of myocardial infarction or cerebrovascular event, and all-cause mortality were compared between patients prescribed sibutramine and similar patients prescribed orlistat, using both a multivariable Cox proportional hazard model, and propensity score-adjusted model. Possible effect modification by pre-existing cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular risk factors was assessed. RESULTS: Patients prescribed sibutramine (N=23,927) appeared to have an elevated rate of myocardial infarction or cerebrovascular events compared with those taking orlistat (N=77,047; hazard ratio 1.69, 95% confidence interval 1.12-2.56). However, subgroup analysis showed the elevated rate was larger in those with pre-existing cardiovascular disease (hazard ratio 4.37, 95% confidence interval 2.21-8.64), compared with those with no cardiovascular disease (hazard ratio 1.52, 95% confidence interval 0.92-2.48, P-interaction=0.0076). All-cause mortality was not increased in those prescribed sibutramine (hazard ratio 0.67, 95% confidence interval 0.34-1.32). CONCLUSIONS: Sibutramine was associated with increased rates of acute cardiovascular events in people with pre-existing cardiovascular disease, but there was a low absolute risk in those without. Sibutramine's marketing authorization may have, therefore, been inappropriately withdrawn for people without cardiovascular disease.

Type: Article
Title: The effect of sibutramine prescribing in routine clinical practice on cardiovascular outcomes: a cohort study in the United Kingdom
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2015.86
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2015.86
Additional information: © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Experimental and Translational Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1474694
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