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Illegally sold weight loss drug contains ecstasy, Health Ministry warns

‘Zero fat’ also contains sibutramine, which was banned over a decade ago; ministry tells public to only buy medicine from pharmacies

An image of the illegally sold 'zero fat' weight loss drug, which contains the illegal drug ecstasy and the banned active substance sibutramine. (Health Ministry)
An image of the illegally sold 'zero fat' weight loss drug, which contains the illegal drug ecstasy and the banned active substance sibutramine. (Health Ministry)

Lab testing has found that an illegally traded weight loss drug contains the drug ecstasy, the Health Ministry said on Sunday and warned against consuming the pills.

The ministry also revealed in a statement that the “zero fat” pills contained traces of the active substance sibutramine, which is banned from sale due to its “cardiac side effects and psychotic side effects.”

“The Health Ministry calls on the public to purchase medicines, including weight loss pills only in pharmacies and pharma chains, and to refrain from buying the pills through unrecognized and unsupervised social networks and websites,” the statement read.

Ecstasy, or MDMA, is a mind-altering substance commonly used as a party and recreation drug, which can cause high blood pressure and seizures, and affect the body’s ability to regulate its temperature.

Sibutramine was a widely sold obesity drug until 2010, when regulators around the world determined the ingredient posed a risk to health.

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