Fen Phen and PPH. Fen phen was a combination drug mixture of Pondimin or Redux with phentermine (an amphetamine-like drug) and was designed to promote weight loss. Both Redux (dexfenfluramine) and Pondimin (fenfluramine), the "Fen"s in the combination, were diet drugs manufactured by American Home Products ("AHP"). They were designed to suppress the appetite by altering brain levels of serotonin, but both were withdrawn simultaneously from the market in September of 1997 when both were linked to the occurrence of serious cardiac valvular disease, and primary pulmonary hypertension. This web site is for victims of Fen Phen induced pulmonary hypertension.
When first introduced, both Redux and Pondimin seemed effective weight loss treatments and were received with excitement. Yet after a report conducted by the Mayo Clinic in which 24 cases of heart valve disease in patients treated with the combination of phentermine and Pondimin (fen-phen) were discovered, concern quickly mounted. Sure enough, in a follow up joint study conducted by the Mayo Clinic and American Home Products ("AHP") an additional 28 cases of heart valve disease were discover in patients taking both Redux and Pondimin.
Another study found that of 291 patients who had been treated with Pondimin or Redux, usually in combination with phentermine, nearly 1/3 showed abnormal echocardiograms. 271 of the 291 patients had taken Pondimin in combination with phentermine, and 20 of the 291 patients had taken Redux or a combination of Redux and phentermine. Of the 20, six had abnormal echocardiograms, and two of the six took Redux alone.
The abnormal echocardiograms revealed that 27% of the total group were found to have developed aortic regurgitation, 8% were found to have developed mitral regurgitation, and 3% both. Under pressure from the FDA, concerned medical authorities and injured Fen Phen patients who had filed lawsuits, American Home Products, the manufacturer of the diet drugs Pondimin and Redux, took the drugs off the market.
Since the withdrawal, clinical studies have established a causal relationship between the drugs and both vascular heart disease and primary pulmonary hypertension.
Pondimin and Redux were two of the most widely prescribed diet drugs in the U.S. In 1996, sales of Pondimin and Redux totaled well over 20 million prescriptions. According to company estimates, 4 million people have used Pondimin and another 2 million have used Redux.
Additional cases of primary pulmonary hypertension in patients who have used Redux or Pondimin alone or in combination with other weight-loss drugs continue to occur.
We can help people who have pulmonary hypertension they believe may be related to taking phen fen.
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