March 8, 2011, 12:35 am


Case series on a diversity of illicit weight-reducing agents: from the well known to the unexpected. Tang MHY et al. Br J Clin Pharm 2011 Feb;71:250-253.


The authors, from the Hospital Authority Reference Laboratory in Hong Kong, report on illicit weight-reducing agents they detected in non-prescription diet products involved in poisoning cases referred to their laboratory between the years 2004 and 2009.  There were 66 cases, including one fatality.  Eight-one products were analyzed and found to contain 5 categories of adulterants. The most common undeclared substance identified was sibutramine, an oral anorectic agent that was withdrawn from many markets because of association with increased incidence of strokes and cardiovascular events.  Other illicit agents found included fenfluramine, thyroid hormone, laxatives and diuretics.

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