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J Med Toxicol. 2012 Jun;8(2):145-52. doi: 10.1007/s13181-012-0213-7.

Toxicity of weight loss agents.

Author information

1
Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical Toxicology Fellowship, Boston, MA 02115, USA. May.Yen@childrens.harvard.edu

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

With the rise of the obesity epidemic in the United States over the last several decades and the medical complications seen with it, weight loss and dieting have become a national public health concern.

DISCUSSION:

Because of their increased use and availability through internet sales, several different dieting agents were reviewed for potential toxicity. These included: syrup of ipecac, cathartics, human chorionic gonadotropin hormone, 2,4 Dinitrophenol, guar gum, phenylpropanolamine, ma huang/ ephedra, caffeine, clenbuterol, fenfluramine, sibutramine, thyroid hormone, orlistat and cannabinoid antagonists.

CONCLUSIONS:

With the internet making even banned products readily accessible, healthcare providers need to be aware of the potential toxicities of a wide range of weight loss agents. Our review covered topics we thought to be most historically significant as well as pertinent to the practice of medical toxicology today.

PMID:
22351299
PMCID:
PMC3550246
DOI:
10.1007/s13181-012-0213-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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