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This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Hemorrhagic stroke risk is due to abuse of PPA-containing weight loss drugs, not proper use of cough/cold remedies, Michael Ernst and Arthur Hartz, MD/PhD, University of Iowa and William Wolowich, Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, et al., state in letters in April 5 New England Journal of Medicine. "Patients who take [PPA] as a weight-loss aid commonly abuse the drug by taking it in higher-than-recommended doses," Wolowich notes. HSP authors Walter Kernan et al. respond their data showed stroke risk also was linked to proper use of cough/cold OTCs, but acknowledge weight loss doses were higher. NEJM released the HSP's findings last November (1"The Tan Sheet" Nov. 13, 2000, p. 4)

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