'Herbal' Chinese slimming pill Lose Quickly contains lorcaserin
The Chinese slimming supplement Lose Quickly contains, perhaps not totally unsurprisingly for a '100% natural' Chinese product, a hidden pharmacological substance. Analysts at the Université Paul Sabatier in France found lorcaserin in the product. It's the first time the substance has shown up in a supplement.
The researchers bought the Lose Quickly supplement via sourcevan.com. The batch number on the packet was 130702, and the expiration date was 01/07/2015. The packet contained 30 green and white capsules.
The accompanying information states that the product contains "living the hawthorn, bitter D tea, Cassiae Torae Semen, HUA Q12 SHEN, Chi-tosan, low gather the fructose, left meat alkali, many Malic acid of". We don't feel qualified to attempt a translation.
The manufacturers of Lose Quickly advise users to take 1 capsule daily. A capsule contains 2.2 mg lorcaserin the researchers discovered. The structural formula of lorcaserin is shown below.
Lorcaserin is an appetite suppressant that was approved by the FDA in 2012. It was the first anti-obesity medication to gain approval from the FDA in 13 years. [Reuters Jun 27, 2012] A year later the DEA put it on the list of Schedule IV drugs. [federalregister.gov 05/08/2013] Lorcaserin imitates the effects of serotonin – which interacts above all with the 5-HT2C receptor – and in doses of 40-60 mg per day can cause hallucinations in some people. [Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2011 May;89(5):683-92.]
The manufacturer of lorcaserin advises users to take 2 doses of 10 mg daily. The medical doses are therefore considerably higher than the amounts that Lose Quickly users would consume.
"Even if the amount of lorcaserin in the dietary supplement is below the recommended daily dose, the consumers are not aware of taking a prescription drug that has severe contraindications and may be tempted to increase the dose, hoping to increase the slimming effect", the researchers write. "Furthermore, lorcaserin can be hazardous in case of overdose. Indeed, doses between 40 and 60 mg can be associated with hallucinations and dissociative effects in some subjects. The risk of overdosing leading to such effects is real insofar as the consumer considers the complement as safe because only composed of natural ingredients."
J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2014 Sep;98:94-9.
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