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Cases J. 2009 Apr 3;2:6612. doi: 10.1186/1757-1626-0002-0000006612.

Malignant hypertension and acute aortic dissection associated with caffeine-based ephedra-free dietary supplements: a case report.

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Department of Hospital Medicine, Regions Hospital, University of Minnesota Medical School, 640 Jackson Street, St. Paul-55101, USA.


The use of weight loss dietary supplements is prevalent in the United States, and over the past decade, there has been tremendous growth of the use of these products. It is well documented that ephedra-based products are associated with various cardiovascular adverse effects. With new restrictions placed on such products, companies are now manufacturing caffeine-based ephedra-free herbal supplements. We present the case of 36-year old, previously healthy female who developed malignant hypertension and aortic dissection while taking various caffeine-based dietary supplements. Given the lack of research studies in regards to their safety and efficacy, judicious care should be taken with the use of dietary supplements, including those designated as ephedra-free.

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