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Diet food and fenfluramine

Last update date July 26, 2019

 Fenfluramine is pharmaceutical product approved as anorexigenic agent in the U.K. and France, but is not approved in Japan. It was approved in the United States in the past, but was prohibited from use in 1997.
 Structure of fenfluramine has frame of phenethylamine which we showed in figure. This structure is similar to amphetamine which is stimulant and is similar to structure of ephedrine used as stimulant raw materials as antitussive again. Action of fenfluramine excites central nerve, and it is said that appetite is restrained by stimulating satiety center. There are pharmaceutical products called mazindol with anorexigenic agent approved in Japan, but we have central nerve excitement action like fenfluramine, and is appointed to psychotropic drug. Psychotropic drug is medicine used under the monitoring for doctor not medicine which we can purchase easily at drugstore. Fenfluramine is medicine requiring attention of the handling like this, too, but cannot sell in Japan.

Structural formula of phenethyl amines


 It was revealed that such a medicine was mixed in healthy tea for the purpose of thin figure in 1996, and measures such as voluntary recall or sale cancellation were done nationwide. However, example that fenfluramine was detected in healthy tea again appeared recently. Fenfluramine is mixed as white granule and powder in tea leaves, and most of health tea that fenfluramine was detected know by the naked eye clearly. Inspection of fenfluramine dispenses these white granules and powder and we confirm with infrared absorption spectrum analyzer and other analytical instruments and identify.

Photograph of health food for diet that fenfluramine was detected made in China

And finally, we assay content of fenfluramine in healthy tea using high-speed liquid chromatographs. In 2002, it was reported that fenfluramine was contained in several kinds of health food made in China other than the healthy tea. In this office, fenfluramine was detected in tablet sold as health food (photograph).
When it becomes form of tablet, we do not know whether fenfluramine is mixed by appearance.
 Furthermore, N-nitroso fenfluramine which added - NO (nitroso group) to fenfluramine appeared to highly-concentrated detected example as well as fenfluramine from health food made in China. As a result of having taken these, liver damage and fatal accident happened, too. There are not theses about the toxicity and reactions of drugs activity of N-nitroso fenfluramine and was not able to identify this material as cause of liver damage, but causative agent of liver damage of health food made in China announces that it is N-nitroso fenfluramine until now with it is working papers that we included result of animal experiment that the MHLW announced in February, 2003 in.
 In this way, unclear thing is in health food what is mixed. in should be mixed or cannot necessarily determine whether we should drink, but let's warn about health hazard enough.
 If open everybody, tea bag drinking healthy tea habitually, and find white granule and powder in tea; being careful!


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Examination for Health and Social Welfare Bureau institute for health physics and chemistry study section

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