A British woman has died after taking a lethal dose of diet pills that contain the toxic chemical dinitrophenol, also known as DNP.
Doctors were unable to save 21-year-old Eloise Aimee Parry, who died at the hospital on April 12 after taking eight diet pills as opposed to just one. Two tablets were a fatal dose.
Eloise’s mother, Fiona Parry, told the BBC that her daughter burned up from the inside and her metabolism “exploded like TNT” after taking the pills.
Recalling the tragic day, Mrs. Parry said her daughter drove herself to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital after feeling ill and told the doctors about the pills she’d taken.
“[Eloise] was still completely lucid and with it. At this point she still seemed to be ok,” Mrs. Parry shared.
But, according to the BBC, when doctors carried out a toxicology report, it was revealed just “how dire her situation was.”
“The drug was in her system, there was no antidote, two tablets was a lethal dose and she had taken eight,” Fiona said in an online tribute. “As Eloise deteriorated, the staff in A&E did all they could to stabilize her.”
Explaining, “As the drug kicked in and started to make her metabolism soar, they attempted to cool her down, but they were fighting an uphill battle. She was literally burning up from within. When she stopped breathing, they put her on a ventilator and carried on fighting to save her.
“When her heart stopped they couldn’t revive her. She had crashed. She had taken so much DNP that the consequences were inevitable. They never stood a chance of saving her. She burned and crashed.”
Eloise died the same day.
DNP was first introduced on an industrial scale in French ammunition factories during World War I to make explosives, according to the Guardian.
Then, after clinical trials revealed the chemical could result in weight loss of up to 15 pounds a week, it became popular among people trying to lose weight, including bodybuilders and persons with eating disorders.
This dramatic weight loss occurs because DNP speeds up a person’s metabolism to a “dangerously fast level” – and while some people face side-effects like skin lesions and cataracts, others are “literally cooked to death” after taking a lethal dose.
DNP, which is not an illegal substance as it’s used as a pesticide, was designated as “extremely dangerous and not fit for human consumption” in 1938.
However, there are websites that peddle the drug to unsuspecting people looking to lose weight – with only a clause saying they have no responsibility in how customers take it.
An investigation into Eloise’s untimely death is currently being conducted by the West Mercia police, and a warning about buying diet pills online has been issued.
“We are undoubtedly concerned over the origin and sale of these pills, and are working with partner agencies to establish where they were bought from and how they were advertised,” said Chief Inspector Jennifer Mattinson.
“The coroner’s report will establish the exact cause of Eloise’s death, but we urge the public to be incredibly careful when purchasing medicine or supplements over the internet. Substances from unregistered websites could put your health at risk as they could be extremely harmful, out-of-date or fake.”
Speaking on Sky News, Mrs. Parry warned, “Once it’s in your system, there is nothing that will get it out again. Please don’t take this drug. If you’re somebody that makes the mistake that my daughter did, and takes too many of these pills, the doctors won’t be able to get them out of your system. It’s an awful way to die. I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.”
More than 60 people worldwide have died from taking DNP, but the ingredient still continues to show up in some diet pills.
[Image via Parry Family/West Mercia Police]