Letter: Doctor's note

Last week (12 October) you published "Bitter pills to swallow", about a diet undertaken by one of your journalists.

Diethylpropion, an appetite suppressant mentioned, should not be compared in effect to the drug amphetamine, which was withdrawn from use as an appetite suppressant in the 1960s. Last year the Medicines Commission reported on a review it had conducted in 1995 into all appetite suppressants. It concluded that "the term amphetamine- like appeared to cause confusion" and that side-effects reported were "generally minor, self-limiting and of no serious consequence". It also found that there was no evidence to substantiate concerns about addiction with appetite suppressants.

Dr JH Fine

London W1

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