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Monday, January 16, 2006

FDA warns 2 Brazilian diet pills contain amphetamines

The Food and Drug Administration warned consumers Friday not to use two brands of popular Brazilian diet pills imported and distributed by Miami firms because they "could lead to serious side effects or injury."

The agency said dieters should avoid Emagrece Sim and Herbathin, expensive over-the-counter pills that "contain several active ingredients, including controlled substances, found in prescription drugs," the FDA said in a press release.

As The Herald had previously reported, the FDA confirmed on Friday the pills contain a type of amphetamine as well as tranquilizers (the generic for Librium) and antidepressants (generic Prozac).

All three drug types require a prescription in the United States, and amphetamines are classified as a controlled substance because they have addictive qualities.

"Wow, I got goose bumps," said Thomas Moore, a Baptist Health human resources staffer when he heard the news. The Miami Herald reported three months ago about problems with the pills after Moore said three women failed pre-employment hospital drug tests after taking the nonprescription Brazilian pills. "It's really appropriate the FDA acted."

The FDA said the two brands of pills are made in Brazil by Fitoterapicos and Phytotherm Sim, which may be two names for the same company.


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