Numerous people who consider themselves “too skinny” have begun to post on their social networks the supposed benefits of using antihistamines to gain weight and increase the size of their buttocks, without taking into account the health risks associated with their ingestion.
There are many Instagram, TikTok or YouTube profiles of the self-styled “skinny” people who claim that they have achieved voluminous buttocks and breasts thanks to the consumption of Periactin, a medicine from the Teofarma laboratory that is sold freely for less than 10 euro in Spain.
Despite the fact that the shared images show a large weight gain in a few weeks, this medication has cyproheptadine as its active ingredient, intended for allergy sufferers, and should not be consumed as a food supplement.
Last March the French Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics (SFPT) warned in a statement about this phenomenon, with a view to withdrawing the authorisation for its marketing or, at least, restricting it. Cyproheptadine is a “very old drug, marketed in France since the 1960s” and which until 1994 was used “to stimulate the appetite of patients” who lost weight. This indication was, however, withdrawn due to a poorly evaluated benefit/risk balance. Although this drug is very rarely sold in pharmacies, it is available on the Internet.
The use of cyproheptadine carries health risks, as it causes frequent drowsiness, as well as seizures, hallucinations, and “more serious effects such as liver, blood, and heart problems,” especially if there is an overdose, as occurs if the amounts suggested in the videos are respected. In these videos, users complain of “sleeping all the time” because of Periactin or having severe stomach pains.