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Illegal Diet Pills Risky, May Contain Amphetamines

Armen Hareyan's picture

Consumers and doctors need to know that illegal diet pills from South America may contain amphetamines, warns a U.S. physician.

The majority of amphetamine-based diet suppressants have been banned in the United States, but many are still prescribed in South America and other parts of the world, said Dr. Pieter Cohen, of Cambridge Health Alliance and the Harvard Medical School, United Press International reported.

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He said many American doctors aren't aware of these diet pills and need to know about the number of serious side effects they can cause in order to identify and treat patients with unexplained symptoms, such as chest pains, palpitations, headaches and insomnia.

In his study, Cohen reviewed two case reports of patients who took illegal diet pills that contained amphetamines. In one case, a woman's mysterious symptoms stopped after she stopped taking imported diet pills. The second case involves a man suspended from work after testing positive for amphetamines he ingested while taking imported diet pills, UPI reported.

The study appears in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.