Americans who use illegal diet pills from South America are taking amphetamines without knowing it and seriously risking both their health and their jobs. Physicians need to be made aware of the range of serious side effects of these drugs to allow them to identify and treat those patients presenting with unexplained symptoms.
These findings1, by Dr Pieter Cohen from the Department of Internal Medicine at the Cambridge Health Alliance in the US and Harvard Medical School, have recently been published online in Springer's Journal of General Internal Medicine 4175f3f&pi=0> .
Although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the majority of amphetamine-based appetite suppressants, many are still prescribed in other parts of the world, including South America. The second most often prescribed amphetamine based appetite suppressant worldwide is fenproporex. It is known to be addictive and is rapidly converted into amphetamine in the body. The international availability of fenproporex, combined with Internet sales and other illegal markets, have led to its availability in the US, despite an FDA ban. Most physicians in the US are unaware of the existence of these diet pills combining fenproporex and benzodiazepines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, diuretics, laxatives, thyroid hormones and other substances.
To illustrate the risks posed by taking these diet pills, Dr Cohen reviews two case reports of patients taking appetite suppressants containing fenproporex, illegally imported from Brazil. In the first case, a 26-year-old woman suffered from intermittent chest pains, palpitations, headaches and insomnia for two years. She consulted her doctor numerous times over the two-year period for these unexplained symptoms. Her urine tested positive for amphetamines and benzodiazepines, and both fenproporex and chlordiazepoxide were present in her pills. Her symptoms disappeared after she stopped taking the imported pills.
In the second case, a 38-year-old man tested positive for amphetamines after an occupational urine screening test and was suspended from work. Both fenproporex and fluoxetine were detected in his imported pills. While he was taking the pills he also experienced insomnia and palpitations, symptoms which disappeared after he stopped taking the pills. In both cases, not all the substances detected in the pills matched the ingredients on the vial labels.
Because of the ease of availability of these diet pills over the Internet amongst others, the health and economic consequences of diet pill use are likely to be widespread within certain communities in the US, according to Dr Cohen. He recommends that physicians be made aware of the composition and dangers of the fenproporex-based diet pills imported from South America.
He concludes that "Given the wide variety of potential adverse effects from the medications included in these diet pills, patients attempting to lose weight who experience unexplained symptoms should be specifically questioned regarding the use of imported diet pills."
Renate Bayaz | alfa
Further reports about: > FDA > amphetamine-based appetite suppressants > amphetamines > appetite suppressants > benzodiazepines > diet pills > diuretics > fenproporex > illegal diet pills > illegal markets > laxatives > selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors > thyroid hormones > unexplained symptoms > weight
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy