Results of laboratory tests commissioned by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society into drugs sold for weight loss on the internet have been revealed by ITV News to be highly dangerous to health. Watch the news clip below.
The ITV News investigation
was sparked by deaths from the industrial chemical DNP
(2,4, dinitrophenol), which is touted online as a slimming drug and was the subject of a recent Interpol alert in 190 countries.
ITV News purchased DNP, sibutramine, ephedrine and phentermine. Analysis by Dr. Cristina Legido-Quigley of King’s College, London, found two of the drugs were different to what was actually ordered, one contained far more of the active ingredient than stated on the packet and the other far less.
Neal Patel of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said: “These results show that buying drugs for weight loss on the internet is like playing Russian Roulette with your health. You don’t know what you are buying and the products can be very dangerous, even lethal.
“The sample supposed to be DNP, a dangerous chemical, not fit for human consumption, turned out to be clenbuterol. It is not licensed for use in the UK and can cause palpitations, anxiety and heart attack if too much is taken.
“The sample supposed to be phentermine, which is not recommended for weight loss due to a wide range of health harms, was in fact a different drug called phenethylamine. There was very little of the active ingredient in the tablet.
“The dose of sibutramine tested contained more than double the stated active ingredient, 40.5mg rather than 15mg. Sibutramine is a banned substance in the UK due to serious side-effects including heart attack and strokes.
“Finally, the 30mg of ephedrine purchased, which is not licensed for weight loss, was tested and found to contain only 0.5mg of the active ingredient.
“Research is ongoing into medicines for weight loss but there’s no legal, safe, breakthrough tablet. Talk to a health professional like a pharmacist or doctor to get proper advice about how to lose weight safely.”
Watch ITV News investigating diet pills