Cyberpills Peril

By Abrad · Jun 25, 2006 ·
  1. Abrad
    EXCLUSIVE Cheap..but on-line drugs can kill you Doctors in warning as dodgy websites make a fortune

    HOUSANDS of pill poppers are gambling with their lives by buying cheap prescription drugs over the Internet.

    More and more people use on-line pharmacies to obtain Viagra, Prozac and other treatments.

    They do it to save cash or to by-pass GPs and misuse drugs for life-style reasons. But they are dicing with death by getting pills and tablets without medical advice - and could be sold fakes laced with killer chemicals or even brick dust.

    British Medical Association expert Dr Paul Cundy warned: "You shouldn't touch these sites with a barge pole.

    "Buying drugs online is extremely dangerous. You have no idea whether what you get is what it says on the box or a stronger, different drug that could interact badly with other medications."

    Internet drug stores make a fortune as:

    TABLETS meant for kids with attention deficit disorder are snapped up by overworked businessmen to improve concentration.

    PILLS for the sleeping disease narcolepsy go to students swotting for exams.

    INJECTIONS intended for muscle-weakened Aids victims are used by bodybuilders.

    CAPSULES for treating dangerously obese patients are bought by youngsters with eating disorders.

    The sites - many based in obscure corners of the globe - do not break the law as they claim orders are checked by their prescribing doctors.

    But many of the drugs have potentially deadly side-effects or are addictive. Fakes are a constant risk with a worldwide counterfeit drugs industry worth £20billion a year.

    A trading standards report last week revealed that some drugs contained mercury and by-products of motor oil.

    Dr John Farrell from Pfizer, which makes Viagra, said: "If you take medicine bought off the Internet you might as well put a gun to your head."

    PROZAC Chemical name: Fluoxetine hydrochloride

    Cost £35 for 30 (20mg) tablets

    Uses Anti-depressant taken by more than a million Brits

    Abuses Clubbers take it to counteract the "come down" from using Ecstasy

    Dangers Stomach upset, dizziness, tremor and sexual dysfunction. In 2003, 81 deaths were attributed to overdoses.

    XENICAL Chemical name: Orlistat

    Cost £80 for 60 (120mg) capsules

    Uses Weight loss drug for the obese. Blocks digestion of fats so they are excreted

    Abuses Used by slimmers and sufferers of eating disorders to boost weight loss

    Dangers Can cause lack of bowel control, nausea, headache, and may deplete the body of vitamins A, D, E and K

    VALIUM Chemical name: Diazepam

    Cost £55 for 30 (10mg) pills

    Uses Anti-depressant popular in 60s but used less now due to fears of addiction

    Abuses Reports say young women and cocaine users take it as a sleeping pill

    Dangers Highly addictive. The Priory estimates that one in ten patients at its addiction centre is hooked on valium

    RITALIN Chemical name: Methylthenidate

    Cost £40 for 60 (10mg) tablets Uses Treats attention problems in kids. More than 30,000 British youngsters take it

    Abuses Students and businessmen take it to improve concentration, and young girls to suppress appetite and slim

    Dangers High risk of heart attack. The US Food and Drug Administration ruled that it must carry warnings

    LIPITOR Chemical name: Atorvastatin


    £30 for 30 (10mg) tablets


    Lowering cholesterol and blood fats. More than 11 million prescriptions for Lipitor are issued in the UK each year


    Reports say it is being misused as a slimming aid by women


    Risk of digestive and liver problems. Other side effects include flu-like fevers, sinus problems, nausea, insomnia, and swollen hands and feet

    VIAGRA Chemical name: Sildenafil Citrate


    Around £50 for four genuine 50mg tablets but fakes are available for around £2 each


    Impotency drug designed to help patients who have genuine erectile dysfunction


    Used to try to boost sexual performance, or as a clubber's drug


    Risk of heart problems, blindness, severe headaches and blurred vision

    PROVIGIL Chemical name: Modafinil


    £90 for 30 (100mg) tablets


    Treatment for narcolepsy or sleeping sickness. Also used by fatigued MS sufferers


    Clubbers use it to keep partying, students to revise all night and businessmen to get through long days


    Can be psychologically addictive and may cause headaches, nausea and insomnia

    PROPECIA Chemical name: Finasteride


    £35 for 30 (1Mg) pills


    A treatment for male hair loss with hereditary causes


    Women with thinning hair use it too, despite risks in pregnancy


    Abnormality to male babies' sex organs if used by pregnant women. Decreased libido and sexual dysfunction in men

    ATIVAN Chemical name: Lorazepam


    £100 for 90 (2mg) pills


    Used to treat anxiety, mania, schizophrenia, alcohol withdrawal and chemotherapy patients


    A downer by cocaine users, or a sleeping pill on long flights


    Extremely habit-forming. Can cause memory loss, dizziness, nausea, and in some extreme cases hallucinations

    SEROSTIM Chemical name: Somatropin


    Around £6 for one injection


    Growth hormone to build up the strength of Aids patients suffering weight loss


    Used by body builders, or by women to make their skin look younger. It is proving a new beauty craze in Hollywood


    Headache, increased hunger, nausea, vomiting, breathing problems. Fake versions have caused severe side effects in US Aids patients

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