General Warnings

Dangers of Mexican Diet Pills

Every day, thousands of Americans cross the border to buy Mexican diet pills, thanks to the popularity of weight-loss products and programs. There’s a difference between unregulated weight-loss supplements and medications that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help people lose weight.

Diet Pills encompass a number of prescription and over-the-counter supplements designed to help the user reduce or control their weight. Diet Pills interfere with bodily processes that affect weight by suppressing appetite, increasing metabolism, or preventing fat absorption. Diet Pill addiction can have an incredibly destructive impact on the body.

Other names for Diet Pills include Anorectic or Anorexiant drugs, appetite Suppressants, anti-obesity medication, or centrally acting anti-obesity preparations. Many prescription Diet Pills are designated Schedule III or IV under the Controlled Substances Act. This is to prevent abuse of the drugs and keep Diet Pills in the hands of those who could actually benefit from them. Despite these regulations, Diet Pills are abused at an alarming rate.

How effective are Mexican diet pills?

Like most pharmaceutical preparations in the United States, the effects of diet pills from Mexico are mixed. On average, people who combine prescription appetite suppressants with healthy lifestyle changes (a nutritious diet and exercise), lose 3% to 9% of their starting weight within 12 months.

The following Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ingredients in prescription appetite suppressants are effective in reducing weight:

•          Diethylpropion

•          Liraglutide

•          Naltrexone-bupropion

•          Phendimetrazine

•          Phentermine

•          Phentermine/topiramate

Are Mexican diet pills safe?

Although many diet pills in Mexico contain known pharmaceutical ingredients that are generic forms of medications in the United States, some contain additional ingredients that can be harmful to your health including substances that have been implicated in some chronic conditions.

For example, Redotex a common diet pill in Mexico can cause clinical thyrotoxicosis, a condition in which you have too much thyroid hormone in your body. Hormones produced by the thyroid gland control how fast or slow the body works (metabolic rate). Too much thyroid hormone (thyroxine and triiodothyronine) speeds up the metabolism and results in the signs and symptoms of thyrotoxicosis. If untreated, besides feeling poorly and unwell, the patient is also at risk of developing a fast irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) which increases the risk of stroke.

In 2017, a 24-year-old Mexican young mother Lucero Garza, died after reportedly taking lethal diet pills sold online. Reports indicate that she took the tablets called ‘Avitia Cobrax’ for around a month, her friends said. The pills were sold as a natural weight-loss treatment on sites including Facebook.

Phentermine is a common ingredient in many Mexican pills including Acxion and Terfamex. If your Mexican pill contains this ingredient, here are a few things you should know and precautions you can take:

For people with a history of primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH): You shouldn’t take phentermine. Phentermine may make your PPH worse.

For people with a history of heart disease: You shouldn’t take this drug if you have a history of heart problems. These include stroke, arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), heart failure, coronary artery disease, valve disease, and uncontrolled high blood pressure. Phentermine may cause a serious increase in your blood pressure. This may make your heart work harder. The extra stress on your heart may make your heart disease worse.

For people with a history of hyperthyroidism: Tell your doctor if you have hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid). Phentermine may increase your thyroid activity. This may raise your thyroid levels even further.

For people with glaucoma: This drug may increase your eye pressure even more. This may cause permanent damage to your vision. Tell your doctor if you have glaucoma.

For people with diabetes: You may be able to control your diabetes better as you lose weight while you’re on this drug. Your doctor may lower the dosage of your diabetes drugs.

For people with a history of drug misuse: This drug may be habit-forming. You shouldn’t take this medication long-term. Tell your doctor if you have a history of drug or alcohol misuse.

For people with agitation: This drug may cause restlessness and anxiety and may make your agitation worse. You shouldn’t take phentermine if you’re agitated.

For Pregnant women: Phentermine is a category X pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  • Category X drugs should never be used during pregnancy.
  • Women of childbearing age should use reliable birth control while taking this drug.

For women who are breastfeeding: Phentermine may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors: The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

For children: This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used on people younger than 16 years.

Before starting any Mexican diet pill, discuss it with your doctor or healthcare provider. Let them also know the drugs you are already taking so as to prevent dangerous drug interaction. If the language on your Mexican diet pill is Spanish, seek an interpretation or use online translators to get the full information on the drug before you start taking them.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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