In March, the Danish Medicines Agency warned about the sale of illegal diet pills with a risk of serious adverse drug reactions, please see the fact box to the right. The Danish Medicines Agency has just received the first adverse drug reaction report on one of these products, namely the diet product Therma Power, which contains ephedrine and ephedra. Therma Power has an effect similar to that of amphetamine, which is used for reducing the appetite. Therma Power is not registered or authorised as a medicinal product in Denmark, but it is sold illegally on the internet and elsewhere.
The report describes a case where a young woman had a blood clot in the brain (apoplexy), and her left hand and the left side of her face were paralysed. The woman had only used Therma Power for 6 days. She had bought Therma Power via a Danish-language website.
It must be emphasised that it is a suspected serious adverse drug reaction, but that it is not certain that it is connected to the treatment with Therma Power. However, the contents of Therma Power resemble the contents of the diet product Letigen®, which was withdrawn from the market in 2002 due to a suspicion about serious adverse cardiovascular effects in younger women.
The Danish Medicines Agency encourages persons who have bought Therma Power to:
- stop using it and hand the rest of the product over to a pharmacy.
- consult their general practitioner in case of suspected adverse drug reactions.
- report any adverse drug reactions to the Danish Medicines Agency.
A reporting form is available via the fact box to the right.
Besides from Therma Power, other similar illegal diet products are Ephedra 850®, El Tigre® and Stack.
The Danish Medicines Agency, 11 April 2006