MHRA warns of the dangers of buying diet pills online

4 January 2016  •  Author: Victoria White

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a warning telling people to be aware of the dangers of buying diet pills online.

diet pills

During 2015 MHRA enforcement officers seized more than 240,000 doses of pills claiming to be for weight loss/slimming.

A number of the products seized were marketed as ‘all herbal’ or natural when, in fact, they were found to contain the synthetic medicine sibutramine. Sibutramine was withdrawn across Europe and the US in 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes associated with its use.

Since 2005, MHRA officials have found hundreds of examples of medicines claiming to contain herbal ingredients but after analysis were found to be adulterated with pharmaceutical ingredients.

MHRA advises consumers to look for products that display the THR logo and THR/PL number

When considering whether to buy a product that describes itself as herbal or natural, consumers are advised to look for products that display the Traditional Herbal Registration (THR) logo and a THR/PL number.

MHRA senior policy advisor, Lynda Scammell said: “The Internet has access to a vast number of websites offering a wide range of products marketed as “slimming” or “diet” pills. Many make attractive claims and offer “quick-fix” solutions but be aware that “natural” does not mean “safe.

“There is no miracle cure. The reality is that many of these pills are not authorised medicines and therefore their contents are unknown. Chances are they simply will not work and may contain dangerous unknown ingredients. The consequences can be devastating.

“Our advice is not to purchase slimming pills online without having consulted a doctor or pharmacist first.”

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