Regulator investigating ‘slim thick’ drug Apetamin after BBC investigation

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

22 Apr 2021

The infamous ‘get thick quick’ drug Apetamin has caught the eye of UK regulators, who are now starting an investigation into the unlicensed drug.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) plans to investigate the sale of this product, after a prior investigation by the BBC Three documentary Dangerous Curves: Get Thicc, Get Sick? brought it to their attention.

“We are grateful to the BBC for bringing this issue to our attention and are investigating. Apetamin is an unauthorised medicine which should not be sold, supplied or advertised without a licence. Taking unauthorised medicines can have serious health consequences”, the MHRA said.

Popularised and promoted by social media influencers Apetamin’s original purpose purpose wasnt for curves and thickness. It was mainly targeted to sick people (children) or generally anyone who genuinely needed an appetite boost.

19-year-old model, Altou Mvuama, who previously promoted Apetamin to her followers said: “Back then I didn’t really do my research”.

“Social media is extremely toxic. […] I feel like there’s plenty of other models – and girls – out there who feel like they need to change themselves due to what they’re seeing on social media.”

The health risks from Apetamin lie in that misusing the syrup can cause fatigue, jaundice and even liver failure according to doctors.

“I had a patient who came into our liver clinic and she was complaining of fatigue,” said Dr Garland. “She was jaundiced, so her skin was yellowed. Her own body was fighting her liver.”

Dr Garland, who wrote one of the few studies on the product, said: “What particularly worries me about Apetamin is the way that it’s marketed. It’s marketed as a vitamin supplement which implies that it’s safe, that it’s natural,”

“The active ingredient that stimulates appetite is cyproheptadine and then there are a few other ingredients […] but there are no actual studies about Apetamin. We don’t know how Apetamin will actually impact a person.”

Social media giants like Instagram alongside retail websites Amazon & Depop have pledged to remove Apetamin from their platforms.