I figured this was nutrition - Diet drug caused fatal car accident: lawsuit

Diet drug caused fatal car accident: lawsuit
Last Updated: Thu Nov 22 14:23:41 2001
TORONTO - A diet drug is at the centre of a lawsuit that killed two Vancouver teenagers. The woman who caused the accident and the parents of the victims, are suing the makers of Xenadrine. They’re arguing the drug can cause psychotic episodes.

In May 1998, Kimberly Brooks and Monique Ishikawa were killed when their car was rear-ended and then burst into flames. Julia Campagna was charged with manslaughter but a judge ruled in 1999 that she was not criminally responsible by reason of mental illness.

Campagna’s lawyers argued the herbal weight loss supplement Xenadrine made her psychotic. Campagna says she was delusional at the time of the accident.

Xenadrine is the most popular diet drug in the U.S. It is often used by weightlifters. Xenadrine is not approved for use in Canada, however people have been able to order it online or get it from illegal distributors.

Xenadrine is made from a combination of ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin.

Since 1993, at least 60 adverse reactions have been reported in Canada, including two suicides which may not be linked to the supplement. In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration has gathered 80 reports of deaths linked to ephedra products.

Ephedra is available in Canada but only as nasal decongestant.

Health Canada issued a warning in June advising Canadians not to take any dietary supplements containing ephedra. The concern is over ephedra mixed with caffeine. Many of the supplements include caffeine as an ingredient.

Adverse effects include dizziness, tremors, headaches and irregularities in heart rate, seizures, psychosis, heart attacks, and stroke.

“We believe that when you take an ephedra-based product, mix it with some other…chemical like caffeine…you’re, in essence, making a speed cocktail,” says Mark Scheer, a lawyer representing the families.

'A safe natural product'

The company, Cytodyne, denies the product causes pyschosis. The product label warns “do not use if you are at risk or being treated for psychiatric disease.”

The label on Xenadrine also warns against taking the supplement if you are at risk for, or being treated for, 14 ailments including high blood pressure, liver problems, diabetes, anxiety, depression, stroke or thyroid problems.

Ephedra products have come under increasing scrutiny as other victims file lawsuits. Pat and Harold Givens are suing the makers of “Youngevity Fat Metabolizer” because they say it caused their daughter’s stroke.

April Givens died from a brain hemorrhage at 21. She was trying to lose five pounds.

“They advertised this as a safe natural product without giving you any clue that if you’re a healthy normal person that there is a danger,” says Pat Givens.

Givens says her daughter followed instructions and took the correct dosage.

The ephedra industry has fought back. Several groups, which represent manufacturers and sellers of ephedra products, recently issued a news release saying their products are safe. The group cited 20 studies to prove its point.

But one study, funded by the industry, did raise concerns. A St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital study in New York examined 35 healthy people who took ephedra. Eight dropped out because of side effects such as heart palpitations, chest pains and high blood pressure.

“There are people who shouldn’t take it,” says Dr. John Cardellina, an industry spokesperson. “But there is a significant portion of the population that can benefit from the use of ephedra as long as they follow the guidance for the products.”

Written by CBC News Online staff

Here we go again.....

I’m from Vancouver and know of that case. Although it is sad that people died, It’s the normal blame someone else, and hit the jackpot bullshit. Kinda like suing Mc Donalds for actually serving hot coffee and being stupid enough to dump it in your lap.

This is disgusting. Do or say anything to avoid responsibility for your actions.

Is it even possible for a product like this to cause psychotic episodes?? If so by what function would this happen. I have used caffeine and ephedrine before and I would hardly call it a “speed cocktail”.

I have had a psychotic episode last year from a combination of like Traix and Adipokenetix.
This never happened to me before and I used it for a long period at a time and used it a few years ago to. I used it less than what the bottle said.
But one day they started to make my brain race. It started to race so fast it went out of control. My brain couldnt think right. I did not know what I was doing. I didnt sleep in 4 days and I started to hear voices in my head. And I was very sad and I had thoughts of killing myself. I had to go to a mental hospital to get back to normal with medication.
Even though I have had this problem and I am on medication now because of it and probally would never need to take medicide because this stuff messed up some chemicals in my brain and caused a imbalence.
even though I still tried something like that off and on afterwards again this year and a few months ago, like a generic version of adipo when I was on medication. I started to get some nasty headakes then I decided that it isnt worth it with these fatburners and just tossed the bottle in the tolit. I think I would rather have a little gut then to be in another psychotic episode. Hopefully I can have the willpower to just not eat as much with out these or just drink coffie instead. For my experiance they are not worth it. Because it took me a month to recover from the psychosis.

ahhh, the stimulant induced psychotic episode again… Anybody remember the twinkie defense?

It is in fact possible for a stimulant to cause an episode, but the condition must already exist. Borderline schizpphrenia, manic depression, and other dilusional disorders can be exacerbated by stimulants. But ANY stimulant can cause such outbursts.

its pathetic how nothing can ever be my fault, no way, not a chance. has to be something else causing it. thats it, yeah… it was… the coffee I drank, no, the candy bar I ate, no, the diet supplement Im taking! yeah, thats it!