E for Ecstasy by Nicholas Saunders
Appendix 1: Reference Section
- 65 Fenfluramine Hydrochloride, from Martindale Pharmacopeia
- The potential for abuse is considered to be virtually nonexistent. However,
single oral doses of 80-500 mg were "used to elicit a psychotomimetic
state consisting of euphoria, relaxation and inane laughter, often accompanied
by perceptual alterations including visual hallucinations. . ." More
frequent and vivid dreams were reported in 13 of the 20 people studied.
- A study of 53 cases of fenfluramine poisoning through overdose showed
that the most common symptoms were mydriasis, tachycardia and facial flushing.
Nine patients died "following cardiac and respiratory arrest. Death
occurred 1 to 4 hours after ingestion." (1979 German reference).
- Fenfluramine should not be given to patients with glaucoma or a history
of drug abuse or alcoholism. Patients with mental depression should be treated
carefully; "there may be mood changes during fenfluramine treatment,
and abrupt cessation can cause severe depression." Avoid use with epileptic
patients. Excretion is via the urine "in the form of the unchanged
drug and metabolites".
- The drug is used as a short-term treatment for moderate to severe obesity.
- The dose is initially 20 mg 2-3 times daily, increasing after the first
week to a usual maximum of 120 mg daily. The drug is sold in the UK as Ponderax.
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