The New Fracas Over Fat Pills
In late August, one of the nation's most respected drug researchers, Dr. Richard J. Wurtman, dropped a bombshell on the diet-drug industry. He presented new evidence that could explain why the once wildly popular obesity drug combination known as fen-phen seemed to cause serious heart problems. Because of these problems, fenfluramine, one of the drugs in the combo, was voluntarily pulled off the market a year ago. Phentermine, the other half of the pair, is still available and is now commonly used in combination with the antidepressant Prozac to treat obesity. But Wurtman warned that the Pro-phen combination could be just as dangerous as fen-phen.
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