2 popular diet drugs pulled from market
Fen-phen, Redux linked to heart risk
September 15, 1997
Web posted at: 1:02 p.m. EDT (1702 GMT)
PHILADELPHIA (CNN) -- Two of the most popular diet drugs on
the U.S. market were recalled Monday after being linked to
serious heart damage.
The recall was for Redux, known chemically as
dexfenfluramine, and Pondimin, also known as fenfluramine.
Fenfluramine is half of the popular diet drug combination
called fen-phen. The other half, phentermine, is not affected
by the recall, but patients should no longer use the
"If individuals are taking these medications, they should
cease taking them and should consult with their physicians
about what next steps should be taken," said Dr. Michael
Friedman, acting head of the Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA said new preliminary data showed that doctors had
observed heart lesions in 30 percent of patients using the
The FDA said that many of the patients with the lesions were
not having immediate health problems, but that others
suffered from shortness of breath, chest pain, fainting,
swelling of the ankles and heart murmurs.
Wyeth-Ayerst, the maker of Pondimin and marketer of Redux,
withdrew the drugs at the request of the FDA, and the maker
of Redux, Interneuron Pharmaceuticals, also agreed to pulling
Wyeth-Ayrst said it planned to place full-page notices in
newspapers nationwide announcing the withdrawal. Patients
were advised to call a toll-free number, (800) 892-2718, if
they had any questions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.