Slimming pills from internet may harm mental health

Posted on January 4, 2014

HONG KONG - Women who set out to shed a few kilos discreetly by using slimming drugs bought on the internet may be getting more than they bargain for, with some found to have lost their minds instead.

Dodgy pills sold online contained toxic and banned chemicals that could cause hallucinations or palpitations, the Poison Information Centre warned.

At least 58 women were treated for psychiatric or heart problems after taking slimming pills, Department of Health records from the past four years showed.

Half of them had bought the pills on the internet.

Most of them suffered from psychiatric symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. Some 30 per cent also developed cardiovascular symptoms including chest discomfort and palpitations.

Laboratory tests found the drugs they took contained more than one undeclared or banned substance, such as the appetite suppressant sibutramine.

The department urged the public to control their weight through safer means, such as adopting a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a balanced diet and undertaking a regular exercise regimen.

Source material from South China Morning Post

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