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April 5, 2000

Heart Valve Disorders and Appetite-Suppressant Drugs

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Lexington, Mass.

JAMA. 2000;283(13):1738-1740. doi:10.1001/jama.283.13.1738

An association between appetite-suppressant medications and cardiac valve disorders is now generally believed to have been established, but remains an important scientific and clinical issue. Even though the 2 most commonly implicated agents, fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine, were withdrawn from the US market in 1997 and despite the recent multibillion dollar class action settlement by the manufacturer of these drugs,1 ongoing research continues to attempt to more accurately and more completely characterize the pathophysiology and natural history of anorexigen-associated valvular heart disorders. However, the totality of the evidence to date favoring a causal connection between fenfluramines and cardiac valve disorders is persuasive, if somewhat complex.

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