Saturday 21 April 2018

Young man dies after taking banned slimming pills

Slimming pills containing Dinitrophenol Credit: HPRA
Slimming pills containing Dinitrophenol Credit: HPRA

David Kearns

A young man has died after taking a fat burning product containing a highly toxic substance marketed as a “wonder slimming aid”.

The man, in his mid-20s, died in May said the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), who warned against using slimming products purchased online.

The authority said it was aware of a recent death of a young Irish man following the suspected consumption of a product that contained Dinitrophenol (DNP), adding it was now liaising with Gardai into the supply of DNP products and the events surrounding the man's death.

"These investigations are on-going, and we strongly urge members of the public to never use the internet to source slimming products or any prescription medicines at any time - no amount of these products is safe to take," said Pat O’Mahony, Chief Executive of the HPRA.

"Bogus websites can be very sophisticated and appear to be legitimate. However, in reality they can be supplying unsafe and harmful products."

Following the death of a woman in the United Kingdom linked to DNP, Irish authorities warned that products containing DNP were “not fit for human consumption and have the potential to cause serious harm.”

DNP, an industrial chemical popular with some bodybuilders trying to lose weight, has been linked to over 60 deaths worldwide, but this is the first reported case in Ireland.

“As the Internet is an unregulated source of supply of slimming products and other medicines, the [we] are concerned that products containing this substance may have been purchased by Irish consumers,” said the HPRA.

It advises consumers, as it has done in the past, not to purchase any slimming products which may be illegally available online, and to contact their doctor immediately if they have taken a product containing DNP and feel unwell.

The HPRA have seized 93 tablets containing DNP so far this year.

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