Benfluorex

Indications

  • Hypolipidemic/Hypoglycemic: withdrawn from European market in 1998, but not withdrawn from the French market until 2009 (when the first case series reporting benfluorex-associated pulmonary hypertension was published)
    • Drug was frequently used between 1998-2009 in France as a replacement for isomeride

Pharmacology

  • Fenfluramine-Derivative: its main metabolite is norfenfluramine (similar to isomeride)

Adverse Effects

Pulmonary Adverse Effects

  • Pulmonary Hypertension (see Pulmonary Hypertension, [[Pulmonary Hypertension]])
    • In case series: mean ingestion duration was 30 months, median delay between start of exposure and onset of pulmonary hypertension was 108 months [MEDLINE]
    • In case series: 25% of cases had coexisting pulmonary hypertension and mild-moderate valvular heart disease [MEDLINE]

Cardiac Adverse Effects


References

  • Pulmonary hypertension with benfluorex exposure. Eur Respir J 2012;40:1164–72 [MEDLINE]
  • Benfluorex and unexplained valvular heart disease: a case-control study. PLoS One 2010;5:e10128 [MEDLINE]