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Format: 04/20/2014
Format: 04/20/2014


Animal Drug Also Fights Fat, But Is Not Regulated

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Some people will do anything to get slimmer, stronger and more sculpted.

A certain drug can help with all of the above. The trouble is, the drug is for horses and is not approved for human use.

But Channel 4 Action News Anchor Sally Wiggin reported there are plenty of people who want a quick fix and will take it, despite its dangers.

The drug is clenbuterol and for years body builders have touted its ability to both burn fat and build muscle. But now, fitness trainers and Hollywood entertainers are taking this drug that veterinarians give to horses with breathing problems.

Older horses that have trouble breathing might be given ventipulmin syrup, also known as clenbuterol. In two hours, the drug's adrenalin properties ease the animal's breathing. But there's a catch.

"It increases the heart rate if you give too much. It increases blood pressure, it can cause sweating," said equine vet Dr. Yvonne Liddell.

The drug, in pill form, does the same for people.

"It secretes a lot of epinephrine, and that is a real stimulant. It burns fat and builds muscle. A one-two punch," said Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom of the UPMC Weight Loss Center.

"Any medication that has that 'upper' effect is going to cause people to feel like they don't need to eat as much," said Dr. Fred Harchelroad, a toxicologist.

To read more, visit the WTAE website.

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