A weight-loss pill popular in Australia has been found to be potentially fatal.
Therapeutic Goods Administration has ordered doctors to stop prescribing the drug to the overweight after a clinical trial showed its hazardous effects, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The decision has driven women desperate to obtain the drug sibutramine, marketed as Reductil, to the Internet to get around the ban.
The TGA has imposed restrictions after almost 200 reports of adverse reactions to the drug.
Reductil has been linked to strokes, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, anxiety and at least one death in Australia.
The circular warns that the fat-busting drug could harm the people it was aimed at - the overweight.
"Based on the preliminary results of the Sibutramine Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial (SCOUT), changes have been made to the Australian product information to highlight that sibutramine must not be prescribed to patients with a history of cardiovascular disease and/or hypertension," it states.
It added: "In summary, the SCOUT study suggested potential for harm in patients who are overweight or obese and at high risk of a CV (cardiovascular) event."