|Systematic (IUPAC) name|
|Biological half-life||17–20 hours|
|ATC code||A08AA04 (WHO)|
|Molar mass||231.257 g/mol|
Dexfenfluramine, marketed as dexfenfluramine hydrochloride under the name Redux, is a serotonergic anorectic drug: it reduces appetite by increasing the amount of extracellular serotonin in the brain. It is the d-enantiomer of fenfluramine and is structurally similar to amphetamine, but lacks any psychologically stimulating effects.
Dexfenfluramine was for some years in the mid-1990s approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the purposes of weight loss. However, following multiple concerns about the cardiovascular side-effects of the drug, the FDA withdrew the approval in 1997. After it was removed in the US, dexfenfluramine was also pulled out in other global markets. It was later superseded by sibutramine, which, although initially considered a safer alternative to both dexfenfluramine and fenfluramine, was likewise removed from the US market in 2010.
The drug was developed by Interneuron Pharmaceuticals, a company co-founded by Richard Wurtman, aimed at marketing discoveries by Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists. Interneuron licensed the patent to Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories. Although at the time of its release, some optimism prevailed that it might herald a new approach, there remained some reservations amongst neurologists, twenty-two of whom petitioned the FDA to delay approval. Their concern was based on the work of George A. Ricaurte, whose techniques and conclusions were later questioned.
In actuality, most conversant with the discussion felt that dexfenfluramine's only advantage was patent protection for its licensed companies. Racemic fenfluramine was far cheaper.
- Stuart Ira Fox. Human Physiology. Twelfth Edition. McGraw Hill. 2011. p.665.
- FDA September 15, 1997. FDA Announces Withdrawal Fenfluramine and Dexfenfluramine (Fen-Phen)
- "Abbott Pulls Diet Drug Meridia Off US Shelves". Wall Street Journal. 8 October 2010. Archived from the original on 23 October 2010.
- Lemonick, Michael D; Dowell, William; Nash, J. Madeleine; Ramirez, Ainissa; Reid, Brian; Ressner, Jeffrey (23 September 1996), ., ed., "The New Miracle Drug?", Time, retrieved 3 October 2010
- Lemonick, Michael D; Nash, J. Madeleine; Park, Alice; Thompson, Dick (29 September 1997), ., ed., "The Mood Molecule", Time, retrieved 4 October 2010
- "DEA Accedes to Ecstasy Test". Wired. 2 March 2004.
- FDA Announces Withdrawal Fenfluramine and Dexfenfluramine (Fen-Phen)
- Drug description
- Dexfenfluramine hydrochloride
- Questions and Answers about Withdrawal of Fenfluramine (Pondimin) and Dexfenfluramine (Redux)
- Frontline: Dangerous prescriptions - Interview with Leo Lutwak, M.D. in which he discuses the side effects of fenfluramine, its successor Redux, and the Fen-Phen combination