Warning: Illegal sibutramine-containing weight-loss products sold on the internet

19 October 2007

The illegal Chinese weight-loss products LiDa (DaiDaiHuaJioaNang) and Miaozi are being sold on the internet, e.g. at the Danish language version of www.hurtigslank.dk (www.faststlim.dk). An analysis made by the Danish Medicines Agency has revealed that the products contain the active substance sibutramine, which neither appears from the packs nor the website.

The active substance sibutramine has a number of associated adverse reactions and is a constituent of the prescription-only medicinal product Reductil. Reductil is licensed for the treatment of obesity. Sibutramine affects the signals in the brain, suppressing appetite. Cautious use of sibutramine must be exercised in patients suffering from an eating disorder, metabolic disorder, epilepsy, cardio-vascular disease, mental disorder and severe renal or hepatic impairment.

The adverse reactions include fast heart rate, hypertension, hot flush, constipation, nausea, trouble sleeping, headache, anxiety, perspiration and taste perversion.

The Agency's analysis of LiDa revealed that the sibutramine content of some of the capsules was more than double the highest strength licensed for Reductil.

The Danish Medicines Agency advises patients who have taken LiDa or Miaozi to stop using it and to contact their doctor if they have any concerns. Any unused capsules of the illegal products may be returned to the nearest pharmacy.

The Danish Medicines Agency urges persons who buy medicinal products on the internet to be careful and to seek advice from their doctor before buying prescription-only medicinal products. The doctor may then assess the effect of the product and its adverse reactions, including whether or not the product concerned would benefit the patient.

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