Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Medical Student Sarah Houston Dies After Taking Slimming Weight Loss Drug

Sarah Houston
Image Credit - news.ninemsn.com.au
A young medical student battling bulimia has died after taking a dangerous weight-loss drug.  

Sarah Houston, 23, from Leeds University in England, had been secretly taking Dinitrophenol (DNP) along with a prescription anti-depressant.

The combination may have proved fatal, Wakefield Coroner’s Court heard yesterday.

She was found dead in her bedroom in Leeds by a flatmate last September, a day after refusing to call an ambulance when she felt unwell.

Ms Houston is believed to have taken 38 capsules from a packet of 100 DNP pills.

The substance is banned for human use but easily available online because it is used as a chemical pesticide.

Ms Houston is believed to have imported the capsules from Spain.

Dr Graham Mould, a forensic toxicologist, said taking DNP with the anti-depressant Prozac may have proved fatal as both drugs increase the body's metabolic rate.

"The side effects can be overheating and breathlessness caused by an increased heart rate and this seems to be consistent with how Sarah was feeling that evening," he was quoted as saying.

Ms Houston was breathing heavily and had two cold showers to try and cool herself down after complaining of feeling unwell, the hearing heard.

But there was no evidence of an overdose and Ms Houston was not suicidal, the hearing was told.

She had been seeing a psychiatrist for her eating disorder for three years and had improved so much that the sessions were expected to end soon.

Coroner David Hinchliff recorded a misadventure verdict and criticised manufacturers for knowing capsules would be bought by "people using it as a drug".

The victim's father Geoff Houston, 55, said: "The world has lost a bright, bubbly person who would have gone on to making people’s lives better. Sarah loved life and was passionate about helping others less fortunate than herself."

Source: The Daily Mail

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