Fenfluramine, the appetite suppressant drug banned in the US in 1997 due to fears over its links to heart conditions, has been shown to have serious long-term effects.
In a report published today in the journal BMC Medicine, researchers have shown that people who stopped using fenfluramine eleven years ago had damaged heart valves up to seven years later.
In this study, Charles Dahl from the Central Utah Clinic led a team of researchers who studied the heart condition of 5743 former fenfluramine users. He said, “Valve problems were common in individuals exposed to fenfluramines, more frequent in females and associated with duration of drug use in all valves assessed”.
Heart valves, such as the aortic, mitral and tricuspid valves, ensure that your blood flows in the correct direction around the heart.
When they fail, blood back-flows (termed regurgitation).
If the regurgitation is severe enough, congestive heart failure and/or the need for heart valve surgery may occur.
Dahl said, “We found clear evidence for a strong, graded association between duration of exposure to fenfluramines and prevalence of aortic regurgitation and for mild or greater mitral and tricuspid regurgitation”.
Let’s get this straight.
We take a drug that causes this…