Pulmonary Hypertension and Multi-Valvular Damage Caused by Anorectic Drugs
Serge E. Goldstein, Yair Levy, Yehuda Shoenfeld
Medical Dept. B and Institute for Immunological Disease Research, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
Marked obesity is an independent risk factor for multisystem morbidity. The use of anorectic drugs is an aggressive strategy for weight reduction. It appears to be an easy way of dealing with the problem, because the patient needn't change his behavior. However, such treatment is not harmless. At the end of the 60's an outbreak of pulmonary hypertension was associated with the drug aminorex, and it was soon withdrawn from the market. 30 years later it became clear that new-generation anorectic drugs (fenfluramine, dexfenfluramine, phentermine), which were being used world-wide, lead to both pulmonary hypertension and valvular damage.
We describe a woman of 70 with both these complications which developed after prolonged anorectic therapy with a fenfluramine-phentermine combination.