Intended for healthcare professionals


Appetite suppressant was probably responsible for 1300 deaths, study shows

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 09 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e996
  1. Paul Benkimoun
  1. 1Paris

A research study into the drug benfluorex (marketed as Mediator), which was withdrawn from the French market in 2009 because of side effects, shows that its use in France during 1976-2009 was probably responsible for around 1300 deaths and 3100 hospital admissions.

The study, published in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, was carried out by Agnès Fournier and Mahmoud Zureik, two epidemiologists from the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Medical (Inserm) (2012, doi:10.1002/pds.3213).

They warn that these figures may be underestimates. Patients who took the appetite-suppressant drug experienced …

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