Herbal Fen Phen

In September 1997, Fen Phen was linked with heart valve damage, primary pulmonary hypertension and primary arterial hypertension and taken off the market.  With Fen Phen no longer available, some former patients switched to “herbal Fen Phen,” an over-the-counter dietary supplement that could be purchased at health food stores without a prescription.

Although some manufacturers claim that herbal Fen Phen is “just like” its prescription counter part—which combines the drugs fenfluramine and phentermine—a comparison demonstrates that this is not true. Most products marketed as herbal Fen Phen are a combination of two entirely different ingredients: St. John’s wort, which creates a feeling fullness, and ephedra (also known as ma huang), which helps to control appetite.

Over a three year period in the mid-nineties, products containing ephedra were the subject of more than half of all complaints made to the Food and Drug Administration regarding herbal remedies. At the time, the FDA has warned of safety concerns regarding herbal Fen Phen.

The use of herbal Fen Phen or other ephedra products has been linked to a number of serious and potentially deadly side effects, including primary pulmonary hypertension, primary arterial hypertension, heart attack and stroke. At least 155 deaths have been linked to the use of products containing ephedra.

After several studies confirmed the increased risk of side effects for herbal Fen Phen and other ephedra products, the FDA issued a ruling banning the sale of dietary supplements with ephedra in April 2004.

The law firm of Hissey Kientz, LLP is currently investigating cases involving users of herbal Fen Phen who may have developed primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH), primary arterial hypertension (PAH) or other conditions after using these products. If you have used herbal Fen Phen and developed side effects, please contact us by filling out a free case evaluation form to the right of this page, or by calling our toll-free hotline at (866) 275-4454.

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