Woman Hospitalized, 'Couldn't Walk' After Taking Diet Pills Bought Online

A mother from Sydney claims that taking diet pills she bought online almost cost her life.

News station 9News reported that after taking "Fatburners" sold by a Belgian company, Elizabeth Katerina has been in and out of the hospital.

The young mother told the station: "These Fatburners overstimulated my system to the point where I couldn't walk, I couldn't fall asleep, my heart felt like it was going like brrrrr like this, that's how it felt.

"I just remember thinking 'am I going to be ok?' Like 'what's happening to me?'"

After a week of taking the pills, as the bottle directed Katerina adds, she started to feel unwell. This resulted in her calling an ambulance after 10 days when she claims that her resting heart rate had skyrocketed.

"My heart rate was like 158, above that average for a human. An adult should be between 80 to 90 beats per minute. Mine was just chilling at 158, even when I was calm," Katerina said.

"The doctors at the hospital at Royal North Shore, they said to me 'please throw out those diet pills. Whatever was in those Fatburners, they're not good for you, they've overstimulated your system and you've been poisoned."

Katerina added that doctors said not only had she had been poisoned with a lot of caffeine, but the pills also contained other ingredients, with extracts not seen before in Australia.

A statement by the Belgium company 3Action Sports Nutrition passed to the Australian news outlet said the product "complies with Belgian and European legislation, and is approved by the Belgian Food Safety Authorities as a dietary supplement. All food supplements in Belgium must first be notified by the government before they can be brought on the market.

"The instructions for use are clearly stated on the packaging, namely to 'Take 1 capsule in the morning on an empty stomach and 1 capsule in the afternoon' and not to exceed the recommended dose.

"This product has been on the market since 2018, and we have never received a complaint or dissatisfaction about it before."

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) warned against buying diet pills online that can possibly bypass local regulations.

In a statement to A Current Affair, part of the news outlet's website, the TGA said: "The 3Action Sports Nutrition product, Fatburner, is not currently included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, it appears to be sold online through an overseas website."

Sydney GP Dr. Brad McKay explained the issue with making purchases like this from overseas suppliers.

"If you're buying diet pills online there's no guarantee you're going to be getting what's on the box. It is really the wild west when you're ordering things online," he said.

"Even if you're taking a dose that's recommended on the box, that can be far too much for your liver to cope with. So, often people will feel pretty terrible."

McKay added in such cases people could feel nauseated, get diarrhea, or even experience issues with their blood pressure. He continued: "What we get most worried about is people's liver function."

Since taking the diet pills, 9Now reported that Katerina has been seeing a cardiologist, and a gastroenterologist, as well as taking "a cocktail of prescription drugs just to get through each day."

Senior specialist in poisons information at NSW Poisons, Genevieve Adamo, said they receive at least two calls per week about exposure to similar products.

She added: "The main concern is that products purchased overseas via the internet can contain undisclosed ingredients and these can be very dangerous."

The TGA said in a statement: "Weight loss products purchased online for example, often have undisclosed prescription-only substances which can have serious health consequences.

"The TGA works closely with the Australian Border Force to help stop shipments of known risky products, and sample and identify suspect products so future shipments cannot enter Australia."

Hospital diet pills
(Left) a stock image of a woman in a hospital bed. (Right) A stock image of diet pills. A Sydney woman has claimed that taking diet pills almost cost her life. kieferpix/ kefkenadasi/getty