Med J Tabriz Uni Med Sciences Health Services. 2014;36(2): 86-93.
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  PDF Download: 133

Original Article

Detection of Illicit Drugs in Herbal Weight Loss Products in Iran

Maryam Vosough 1*, Tahmineh Baheri 2, Nafisseh Shekari 1, Amir Salemi 3

1 Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Research Center of Iran, Tehran, Iran
2 The Research Center of Anti-Narcotic Police, Tehran, Iran
3 Environmental Sciences Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran
*Corresponding Author: Email: vosough@ccerci.ac.ir


Background and Objectives: Regarding the increasing trend of obesity among societies, tendency for consumption and hence production and import of the so-called “herbal” weight loss products, has showed a significant growth. In this study, the presence of fifteen illicit drugs and chemicals in herbal weight loss products has been determined. Materials and Methods: Twelve weight loss products, which have been advertised by the manufacturers as “herbal”, were provided from different stores in Tehran and examined for the presence of the selected illicit drugs. The studied chemicals could be classified as; stimulants and analgesics, anorexics, anti-anxieties and anti-depressions. After sample preparation and extraction procedures, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was employed for detection and confirmation of presence of the analytes. In addition, because of necessity of derivatization for some analytes, all samples were silylated and analyzed again. Results: The most of the tested products contained highly dangerous and banned drug, sibutramine. Caffeine was also detected in most of the samples. It was also demonstrated that the products of the same brand could be different regarding the content of the drugs of abuse. Conclusions: In spite of the advertisement of the manufacturers of the weight loss products, majority of these products contained drugs of abuse and banned chemicals which could cause serious problems.
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Submitted: 18 May 2013
Accepted: 09 Jul 2013
ePublished: 25 Jun 2014
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