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It’s worryingly easy to get hold of “Slim Thick” drugs in the UK.
An investigation found you can find Apetemin through Instagram, Amazon and even at corner shops.
The drug is manufactured by TIL Healthcare and is marketed at helping to boost curves in all the right places.
But according to the NHS, it is “dangerous” and can cause serious side-effects like dizziness, tremors, nausea, blurred vision and liver toxicity.
It is illegal to sell Apetemin in the UK as it hasn’t been approved by medicine regulator MHRA.
This doesn’t put some women off though – especially as they’re desperate to replicate the hourglass figures of celebrities and influencers.
During BBC Three documentary Dangerous Curves, model Altou Mvuama revealed she’d taken Apetemin in the past.
The 19-year-old said: “I look up to Kylie Jenner because you know, she’s just a big influencer.
“She’s just so inspirational and I really, really like her body.
“I don’t think it’s just me, I think there’s plenty other models and girls out there that think they need to change themselves because of social media.”
Altou even promoted Apetemin to her followers on YouTube because she “didn’t do enough research” into potential dangers.
After battling symptoms like drowsiness and “crazy mood swings”, Altou decided to stop taking the “Slim Thick” drugs.
She also spoke to other women who had similar experiences.
One said: "I was sleeping all the time it was completely knock-out.
“I couldn't even write my name on a piece of paper, my hands were shaking that much.
“I kept falling over and tripping up. I was sleeping all the time.”
Another commented: “You feel quite nauseous. I would jerk or shiver or shake and jump – I was probably overdosing myself.
“I collapsed in the street and had to go to hospital.
“But I was in denial and took it again, which made me collapse on the stairs at home.”
And a third added: "It even hurt my eyes to be awake.
“My feet started to swell, I had to change into my slippers on a night out."
Dr Victoria Garland, physician at the George Washington University in Washington DC, said she’s dealt with patients struck by Apetemin side-effects too.
One of the women she saw risked liver failure, which could have been fatal if not treated.
The expert recalled: "She was jaundiced, her own body was fighting her liver.
"It's hard to know what could have happened, she could have full liver failure had she continued it.
"What particularly worries me about Apetamin is the way that it's marketed as a vitamin supplement, which implies that it's safe, it's natural.
"There are no actual studies, we don't know how Apetamin will impact a person."
The NHS recently urged Instagram to clamp down on the “dangerous” Slim Thick drug.
A letter addresses Instagram chief Adam Mosseri and is signed by NHS England medical director Professor Stephen Powis, national mental health director Claire Murdoch, and Kitty Wallace of the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation.
It reads: "We are writing regarding the unlicensed and dangerous drug Apetamin, which is promoted on your platform and could result in serious harm to any individual who takes it.
"This substance is consumed as a supplement, to foster a specific body image and shape, deemed to be desirable by some high-profile influencers, and predominately targeted at younger women and girls."
The letter also highlights potential “physical and mental health impacts” of the drug being promoted on social media.
Companies and social media websites have responded to issues raised in the BBC documentary.
A representative for Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency told BBC Three: "Apetamin is an unauthorised medicine which should not be sold, supplied or advertised without a license.
“Taking unauthorised medicines can have serious health consequences. The sale of this product is now under investigation."
A YouTube spokesman commented: "YouTube's community guidelines prohibit any content encouraging dangerous or illegal activity.
“We routinely remove content flagged by our community that violates these policies."An Instagram spokesman said: ‘Buying and selling non-medical or prescription drugs is strictly against our policies an we have removed the accounts brought to our attention.’
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An Amazon spokesperson said: "This product has been removed and we've taken action against the sellers in question. Buying and selling non-medical or prescription drugs is strictly against our policies."
And a Depop spokesperson added: "Medical products, including unlicensed products such as Apetamin, are not permitted on Depop and will be removed."
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