Studies show Dexfenfluramine can cause PPH and Valvular Heart Diseases

Studies show Dexfenfluramine can cause PPH and Valvular Heart Diseases

Article by Jack Taylor

Dexfenfluramine is a weight loss pill marketed with the brand name Redux. It is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor and releasing agent. Redux is actually dexfenfluramine hydrochloride. U.S. Food and Drug administration approved it in 1990 to be used for weight loss. Later it was related to several cardio vascular diseases including primary pulmonary hypertension and its approval was cancelled in 1997.

It has been linked to many severe side effects. A large number of studies have been conducted to evaluate the risks associated with Dexfenfluramine (Redux) and Fen-Phen. Fen part of Fen-Phen is formed by fenfluramine or dexfenfluramine. Studies have revealed that serotonin drugs, such as dexfenfluramine reduces energy intake and reduces weight. They are meant for short-term use with low calorie diet. If taken for prolonged period it could yield fatal results.

Redux or dexfenfluramine acts as a stimulator for the reduction of fat consumption. Dexfenfluramine inhibits a high impact on reduction of consumption of high-fat foods. It reduces weight faster than other obesity management drugs. But further research revealed its fatal side effects. If it is taken for more than 3 months the risk of developing Primary Pulmonary Hypertension or PPH increases. An overdose of dexfenfluramine could cause valvular heart diseases or Primary Pulmonary Hypertension.

Pulmonary hypertension is a severe disease. It results into an elevated blood pressure in the lungs. It results in going up of resistance to blood flow. It increases the pressure in the pulmonary arteries. The presence of pulmonary hypertension could be identified by symptoms such as high blood flow, high resistance, or both. It could yield fatal results. The symptoms of primary pulmonary hypertension are dyspnea, angina pectoris, syncope or lower extremity edema.

The use of Redux or Dexfenfluramine could cause drowsiness and fatigue. Risks of its side effects increases, if alcohol is consumed while using this drug. Overdose of this drug could be lethal, thus it is advisable to take it in lower dosages for short term. Its use should be stopped if a patient experiences nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

Studies reviewing its side effects concluded that patients with any mental disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, or depression, should not use it. It should also be avoided during pregnancy or breast-feeding.

It could cause diarrhea, dry mouth, somnolence, insomnia, headache, diarrhea, asthenia, abdominal pain, pharyngitis, dizziness, depression, increased cough, bronchitis, vomiting, vertigo, emotional liability, chills and many more side effects for short term, but its most severe side effects are valvular heart diseases and Primary Pulmonary Hypertension or PPH. It could also result in some patients, if their condition worsens.

FDA also reveled in its report that many patients had developed defects in their heart valves. Other related studies also concluded the same fact. An article published in ” The New England Journal of Medicine” on August 27, 1997 also revealed similar fact. The article concluded 24 women had evidently developed a heart disease as a result of usage of fen-phen. Prior to this publication, fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine were only linked to Primary Pulmonary Hypertension or PPH. But this study revealed dexfenfluramine’s association with valvular heart diseases too.For more information visit

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