A diet pill is taking its toll

diet pill

used by veterinarians to treat asthmatic horses and strictly prohibited by Health Canada. She had palpitations and felt oppressed; his heart rate was abnormally high.

The patient, who had to be hospitalized for several days, confessed to buying the product from a “contact” at a training center, as is often the case with this increasingly popular drug for its so-called side effects. “miraculous”. She had to help him lose weight and get more muscular, faster. She’s been sick before. The bottle she had obtained contained 150 ml of a translucent liquid and looked exactly like a bottle that one could have found in a pharmacy. Except that the company selling it is completely bogus, and the product it contained was dangerous and illegal.

Despite this, the Quebec Poison Control Center has recorded several such incidents in recent years in hospitals in the province, where poisoned patients, especially young women, are more and more numerous. Seven were reported in 2011, seven more in 2012, compared to just one in 2009. And 2013 promises to be even worse. In eight months, there were already six cases.

“Generally, when we receive more calls about a substance, it means that its popularity is increasing,” warns the medical director of the monitoring body, Dr. René Blais.

The situation is serious enough for the National Institute of Public Health (INSPQ) to launch a call for vigilance on Monday to warn doctors, pharmacists, nurses and veterinarians of the increasingly frequent use of the “waist pill“.

“Clenbuterol is misused as a weight loss agent. […] Most use it without consultation or medical supervision. […] One can easily buy it illicitly on Internet or in certain centers of training , says the opinion consulted by La Presse .

A simple online search confirms this theory. Many websites allow the drug to be purchased at prices around $150. They offer all sorts of different dosages. On blogs, users tell how “clen” has transformed them. Even Hollywood personalities sing its praises.

But Dr. Blais is formal. Clenbuterol is “significantly more dangerous than beneficial”. And since the substance is made on the black market or designed for animals, it is impossible to control the dosage. So, either it is calculated approximately, or it is planned for a horse.

“We haven’t seen any deaths yet, but someone who takes a lot of it could very well have a heart attack,” warns René Blais.

How it works?

Although much more powerful, Clenbuterol is part of the same family as Ventolin, used in Canada by people with asthma. Intended for animals, it has several effects on the body, including dilation of the bronchi and blood vessels, constipation and relaxation of the uterus. But it is for its side effects that it has value on the black market. Both in humans and in animals, Clenbuterol has anabolic and lipolytic properties. That is to say, much like a steroid, it increases muscle mass in addition to melting fat. These properties cease as soon as you stop consuming it.

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