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
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences