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Cause of Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH) still unknown but many link it to weight loss drugs

Fen-Phen, Redux, and Pondimin have been off the market for some time but doctors are still diagnosing patients with PPH after taking diet drugs years earlier.

St. Louis, Missouri - A leading law firm, in association with LawyersandSettlements.com, is keeping the public aware of the prolonged effects of diet drugs and their link to Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH).

According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 500 to 1,000 new cases of PPH are diagnosed in the U.S. each year; most of these cases are women between ages 20 and 40. PPH is a rare and potentially life threatening lung disorder in which the blood pressure in the pulmonary artery of the heart rises far above normal levels for no apparent reason. This serious type of hypertension or high blood pressure is recognized when the average blood pressure is greater than 25 mm Hg at rest.

Physicians began diagnosing patients with PPH in the 1970s and have yet to identify a cause. Experts note that there is typically a delayed diagnosis for up to 10 years and have linked PPH with the use of appetite suppressants and weight loss drugs. Specifically, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (1996) found that the use of Fen Phen for three months or longer increased the risk of developing PPH by 23%.

Responding to reports of heart disease linked to Fen-Phen and other weight loss prescription drugs, the FDA recalled the popular diet drugs Redux (dexfenfluramine), Pondimin (fenfluramine) and Fen-Phen (fenfluramine and phentermine) in 1997. Before they were recalled, these appetite suppressants were taken by nearly six to seven million consumers worldwide. Mounting evidence and hundreds of consumer reports links Pondimin and Fen-Phen to Primary Pulmonary Hypertension, heart valve problems, and neurotoxicity of the brain.

The initial symptoms of PPH can include weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizzy spells, and fainting. Advanced symptoms of PPH, due to delayed diagnosis, can include bluish lips and skin, ankle and lower leg swelling, increased chest pain, and even death.

A St. Louis-based law firm is investigating whether the use of diet drugs is linked to PPH and is urging patients that have had been diagnosed with PPH to come forward. For more details about this product recall and potential class action lawsuit, visit http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/lawsuit/pph_class_action.html

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