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Cardiotoxicity developed after the use of cayenne pepper pill for slimming: A report of two cases

Author(s): Ozgur SOGUT | Halil KAYA | Mehmet Tahir GOKDEMIR | Mustafa Sumer NIMETOGLU | Leyla SOLDUK

Journal: Turkish Journal of Emergency Medicine
ISSN 1304-7361

Volume: 10;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 133;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Cayenne pepper (red hot pepper) | dysrhythmia | cardiotoxicity | slimming (weight loss).

The slimming pill flavored Mexican pepper seed and originally called “La Jiao Shou Shen” coming from Far East to Turkiye, which is also called cayenne pepper pill is used widely among women for slimming. Capsaicin is the active component of red hot pepper. It has been shown to have various useful effects such as rapid elimination of toxins and fats generated in the body. However, this substance is also shown to accelerate adrenaline secretion by activating sympathetic nervous system in animal experiments. Capsaicin has also been shown to prolong cardiac action potential in atrial and ventricular muscle by inhibition of potassium current. In this report, the cases of two young female patients who developed supraventricular tachycardia and acute atrial fibrillation during the use of cayenne pepper pills for slimming were presented. Due to cardiotoxic effects of red hot pepper, we suggest that appropriate supervision should be provided to prevent its sale and usage.
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