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Letters to the editor

Why is Ephedrine/Caffeine Combination Deemed Safe?
10 March 2003

Recently, the drug Letigen, which is a ephedrine/caffeine prescription drug in Denmark, was suspended from sale because of reports of serious adverse health events. As you may know, Dr. Arne Astrup invented the drug which has served as the model for dietary supplements containing ephedrine and caffeine. The industry also cites Dr. Astrup's findings in support of ephedrine's safety.

If Letigen is no longer deemed safe, what basis does the ephedrine industry have for claiming that their ephedrine/caffeine dietary supplement is safe?

It is also important to note that the FDA recently issued a final rule banning the sale of OTC drug products containing ephedrine and caffeine. If ephedrine/caffeine combinations are deemed unsafe if sold as a drug, what makes them safe when sold as a dietary supplement?

Hopefully, you will publish this information so that the public is aware of these findings.

Christopher E. Grell
Oakland, California
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(c) Copyright 1999-2003 Dietary Supplement Quality Initiative. For permission to reprint, please contact our editor.