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EMA committee recommends market withdrawal of obesity drug

Obesity drug amfepramone is not used as it was intended and can cause serious side effects, which is why the European Medicines Agency’s risk assessment committee recommends market authorizations be withdrawn.

Photo: Rob Acket/EMA

Studies from both Denmark and Germany have made the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) recommend that obesity drugs containing amfepramone be withdrawn from the market, the committee reports in a press release.

The reason the committee is now saying that marketing authorizations should be withdrawn is that the drug is apparently being used for longer than recommended maximum period of three months. According to PRAC, this could increase risks for serious side effects, for example increasing blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs or making patients dependant.

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