Case report: Dexatrim (Phenylpropanolamine) as a cause of myocardial infarction

Heart Lung. 2003 Mar-Apr;32(2):100-4. doi: 10.1067/mhl.2003.27.


Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) is a sympathetic amine used in over-the-counter cold remedies and weight-control preparations worldwide. Its use has been associated with hypertensive episodes and hemorrhagic strokes in younger women. Several reports have linked the abuse of PPA with myocardial injury, especially when overdose is involved. We report here the first case of Dexatrim (PPA)-induced myocardial injury in a young woman who was using it at recommended doses for weight control. In addition, we review the 7 other cases of PPA related myocardial injury that have been reported so far. Physicians and patients should be alert to the potential cardiac risk associated with the use of PPA, even at doses generally considered to be safe.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Appetite Depressants / adverse effects*
  • Appetite Depressants / therapeutic use
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Infarction / chemically induced*
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Phenylpropanolamine / adverse effects*
  • Phenylpropanolamine / therapeutic use
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Appetite Depressants
  • Phenylpropanolamine