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implicated agents, fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine, were withdrawn from the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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