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Mexico bans popular weight loss drug after 24 years of sales

Mexico City, Mexico — Health authorities in Mexico have banned the use of a popular weight loss drug after being sold for 24 years. Mexico’s health authority, the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris), says Redotex and Redotex NF are officially banned for use in the country.

On Thursday, the public health agency said that the products contained substances that can cause thyroid dysfunction, stroke, cardiac arrhythmia, seizures and muscle weakness, among others. They are also investigating how the product was approved and allowed to be sold for so many years.

Redotex products have been sold in Mexico for over two decades. In their health report, Cofepris said “24 years in the market can only be explained by omissions of previous authorities and influentialism that will be investigated,” adding that as of today, its production, distribution and sale is a crime.

Cofepris revoked the sanitary registrations of Redotex and Redotex NF after the team of scientists determined that their consumption represents a high risk to health derived from the number of adverse reactions registered and the harmful substances they contain.

It is reported that as of May 18, the production, distribution and sale of the Redotex and Redotex NF products, whose holder of the sanitary records is the company Productos Medix SA de CV, is suspended throughout Mexico.

Both products were used as a treatment against obesity, since they suppressed the appetite. However, Cofepris carried out a review and technical analysis of the products, identifying various adverse reactions that can be lethal, such as tachycardia, involvement of heart valves and pulmonary hypertension, heart rhythm disturbances, as well as anxiety, nervousness and insomnia, among others.

Both products contain D-norpseudoephedrine, a substance designed by the manufacturer to mask pseudoephedrine, which has been banned in Mexico since 2008. Prolonged use of D-norpseudoephedrine increases the risk of brain bleeding, heart damage, postpartum psychiatric disorders, exacerbation of glaucoma , urinary retention, insomnia, dizziness and nervousness.

Other substances contained in the formulation, such as triiodothyronine, diazepam, atropine and aloin, when combined can cause thyroid dysfunction, cardiac arrhythmias, strokes, fever, hallucinations and delirium, to name a few.

Cofepris says there are 837 reports of adverse reactions caused by the consumption of Redotex and Redotex NF were detected. In addition, it is known that the regulatory agencies of the European Union (1997), Russia (1998), the United States (2011), Argentina 2013), El Salvador (2013) and the World Anti-Doping Agency canceled the health records of Redotex and / or D-norpseudophedrine.

“The permanence of these products in the Mexican market for more than 24 years can only be explained from the existence of a network that most likely involves former public officials from previous six-year terms, so part of the strategy that Cofepris will follow will be to further investigate this web of collusion thoroughly,” they said in their report.