Experts condemn ads of illicit weight gain drug on social media

With the misuse of Apetamin for weight gain purposes rising worldwide, U.K. National Health Service officials have pushed social media platforms such as Instagram to remove accounts promoting or selling the drug, the Psychiatric Times reported May 11.

Apetamin is a syrup consisting of L-lysine, cyproheptadine and B vitamins. Cyproheptadine is approved by the FDA for the treatment of various allergic conditions and is only available by prescription in the U.S. 

Social media platforms and other online sources are illegally selling Apetamin syrup, promoting it as a supplement for body enhancement. Social media influencers have promoted the use of Apetamin as a method of achieving an "hourglass figure."

Though the syrup has been used as an off-label treatment for various psychiatric conditions, it is not approved to be prescribed for weight gain. Misuse of the drug can lead to cyproheptadine overdose, which may cause central nervous system shutdown and is linked to a higher risk of obesity.

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