Diet Pill Danger Redux

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WASHINGTON: TIME science writer Christine Gorman says despite fresh evidence that downing diet drugs Redux and fen-phen could cause heart-valve damage, it's not time to outlaw the pills. "This study raises a red flag that says this has to be looked into more closely," notes Gorman. "But it does not say the drugs should be banned or that the link is definitive."

The Mayo Clinic released another preliminary study two months ago linking the drugs to a rare form of heart disease. Determining the relationship between valve damage and taking fen-phen or Redux will be difficult, since several of the women examined in the Mayo study were taking higher-than-prescribed doses. Ultimately, the studies confirm FDA recommendations that these medications should only be prescribed to the dangerously obese.