Police have warned of the dangers of ‘toxic’ slimming pills linked to the death of a Leeds student who took a lethal dose of the drug DNP.
The crime agency Interpol this week issued a global alert on 2.4-dinitrophenol, or DNP, which is thought to have caused the deaths of five other Britons.
Twenty-three-year-old Medicine undergraduate Sarah Houston was found dead in her room in Hyde Park in September 2012. She had taken a mixture of DNP-containing pills and anti-depressants.
DNP was banned for human consumption in 1930s, although it is readily available online as a legal pesticide.
The alert issued on Monday explains, ‘Although usually sold in yellow powder or capsule form, DNP is also available as a cream. Besides the intrinsic dangers of DNP, the risks associated with its use are magnified by illegal manufacturing conditions.’
Side effects of the drug can include breathing difficulties, vomiting, nausea and in some cases, death.
Glyndwr University student Eloise Parry died last month after taking tablets she had bought online.
In a statement after an inquest in 2013, Sarah’s family said, ‘It seems incomprehensible to us that such a toxic substance can be available in tablet form to be sold in the UK for human consumption across the internet’.
Eloise Parry’s mother urged, ‘My message would be please don’t, don’t, please don’t take this drug. They will take their toll and it is an awful way to die’.
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