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What is Apetamin? The dangerous ‘slim thick’ drug all over social media

by Alex Peters

The unlicensed supplement promoted by social media influencers as a quick way to achieve an hourglass figure has been causing serious health consequences

Beauty ideals change with the times. The pressure on women to fit them never does. After decades of waif-thin bodies being held up as the pinnacle of beauty, Kardashian-esque curves are now the look to strive for, and women are going to extreme lengths to achieve it from undergoing the fat-grafting procedure Brazilian butt lift to buying illegal appetite stimulants off the internet.

One appetite stimulant currently making headlines is Apetamin. Despite being an unlicensed drug in America and the UK, Apetamin is widely available online and has become popular with social media influencers who promote it as a quick, non-surgical way of achieving a “slim thick” hourglass figure. As of writing, there are 11 million views on the Apetamin hashtag on TikTok and countless Instagram accounts dedicated to the drug. The problem, however, is that increasingly people using Apetamin are reporting negative side-effects ranging from extreme fatigue and nausea to liver failure and even comas. In 2019, YouTuber AshaGrand posted a video describing how she almost died after crashing her car when she blacked out on Apetamin, while in the recent BBC Three documentary Dangerous Curves: Get Thicc, Get Sick? presenter Altou Mvuama shared how her mother fell into a coma after taking the drug. 

But what actually is Apetamin? How does it work and is it really dangerous? Dr Azza Halim, a board-certified anesthesiologist, aesthetics, and functional medicine physician based in Florida, helps explain. 

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