Man, 33 has stroke after using `energy' tablets
Jeremy Laurance is a writer on health issues. He is former health editor of The Independent and the i and has covered the specialism for more than 20 years. He thinks the harm medicine does is under-appreciated, the harm it prevents over-rated, and that cycling works better than most drugs. He was named Specialist Journalist of the Year in the 2011 British Press Awards.
Thursday 16 December 1999
The man, a 33-year-old baggage handler from Paris, suffered a severe stroke which left him unable to speak and with weakness on his right side after taking high doses of the supplements which he had bought over the counter in the United States.
The pills contained caffeine and MaHuang extract, a form of the stimulant ephedrine.
The man also took high doses of creatine, for increasing muscle bulk, with the aim of improving his body building, which he trained at two hours a day.
In an article today in the Journal of Neurology, Dr K Vahedi and his colleagues from the Lariboisiere Hospital in Paris, say that the case shows that energy supplements may be dangerous.
The man had been taking them for six weeks before his stroke occurred.
As he had just returned from a transatlantic flight, the researchers say it is possible that the flight itself may have caused the stroke.
However, he had no risk factors - there was no sign of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the legs), he was fit and he did not smoke.
The authors say Ma Huang is popular among sportsmen and women in certain countries. Caffeine and ephedrine are known to have adverse effects on the heart if taken in large quantities.
Although creatine has not been linked with adverse effects on the heart the authors say that it may accentuate the action of other drugs.
It has also been implicated in kidney problems.
The authors conclude: "As energy supplements... are easily available... everybody should be aware that these so-called `benign' drugs may have major adverse effects."
Co-creator Mark Gatiss dropped some very intriguing hints ahead of the BBC drama's return next year
London 'needs affordable housing'
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
- 3 Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
- 4 These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
- 5 Pastafarian former porn star Asia Lemmon allowed to wear colander in driving licence photo
Duchess of Alba dead: Billionaire Spanish duchess who lived life by her own rules, dies at 88
New York snowstorm: Death toll rises to 10 as residents battle with further snowfall
These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? And why has nobody taken legal action?
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
G20 summit: David Cameron warns Vladimir Putin that Russia's relationship with the West is at a 'fork in the road' over Ukraine
£8 - £12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To assist a young family with the care ...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Executive is required...
£55000 - £70000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world lead...
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world leading services pr...