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Determining Undeclared Synthetic Pharmaceuticals as Adulterants in Weight Loss Herbal Medicines

Babak Salahshour, Sajjad Sadeghi, Hajar Nazari, Kambiz Soltaninejad
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Abstract

Background: The popularity and use of herbal medicines and supplements are growing worldwide. Herbal anti-obesity products have been considered as suitable alternatives to synthetic pharmaceuticals as they are introduced as harmless natural products. However, some manufacturers often add undeclared synthetic pharmaceuticals to the anti-obesity herbal medicine products to improve their efficacy and potency. The present study aimed to analyze herbal weight loss products collected from the drug market in Bojnurd City, Iran.
Methods: Ninety-six herbal drug samples, as weight loss products, were obtained from herb shops and pharmacies in Bojnurd City, Iran. All samples were analyzed to detect undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography with Diode Array Detector (HPLC-DAD) and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) techniques.
Results: Caffeine, trimethoxyamphetamine, and vitamin E were identified in herbal weight loss products. Caffeine was detected in 21.8% of the obtained samples, as the most common undeclared active pharmaceutical adulterant.
Conclusion: Undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients in herbal weight loss products could threaten patients’ health. Thus, it is necessary to create awareness through health authorities in this regard.


Keywords

Adulteration, Caffeine, Trimethoxyamphetamine

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.32598/ijmtfm.v10i1.26253