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February 13, 1981

Amphetamine-like Reactions to Phenylpropanolamine

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Internal Medicine, the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, Fargo. Dr Dietz is now with the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Roseburg, Ore.

JAMA. 1981;245(6):601-602. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310310043020

Phenylpropanolamine hydrochloride is an amphetamine-like substance that is found in 64 different over-the-counter preparations for colds and appetite suppression. It is also found in numerous prescription drugs. Recently, it has been reported to cause symptoms of sympathomimetic-like effects, such as severe hypertension, hypertensive crisis, and possible renal failure. Also, several cases of psychotic episodes while taking phenylpropanolamine have been reported. This is the report of seven patients who have experienced acute CNS effects. These effects range from stimulation of the medullary respiratory center to tremor, restlessness, increased motor activity, agitation, and hallucinations.

(JAMA 1981;245:601-602)