How to avoid the ‘worst-case scenario’ of keto diet overdose
Diet pills are the latest fad to appear in the ketogenic diet craze, and some are downright deadly.
Here’s how to avoid becoming one of them.
Dr. David Ludwig, an internist in North Carolina, said the pills are designed to mimic the effect of taking ketamine, a synthetic opiate, and could cause death in high doses.
“These are synthetic opioids that are very dangerous,” he said.
“And they’re very addictive.
So I think that you’re going to see more and more people going in and buying these.”
Dr. Ludwig said keto pills, which are made from a synthetic version of the opiate ketamine and have a similar euphoric effect, were a popular option for people trying to quit heroin.
“Ketamine is so much more dangerous than heroin because it’s more potent, it’s easier to get it,” he explained.
“You could easily overdose.
So there’s no reason to take these.”
He said the dangers of the pills stem from the fact that they don’t contain a synthetic opioid, meaning they’re designed to look like an opiate.
“There are other synthetic opioids like fentanyl that have the same euphoric, sedative effect, but they’re less potent and they’re not addictive,” he added.
“They’re not deadly, but I think they’re the most dangerous ones.”
Dr Ludwig said the FDA approved the ketamine pills in October, and a slew of them have been sold in states including California, Ohio, Florida, Ohio and South Carolina.
“I think we’ve seen a lot of people try to get these out and I think it’s really just a case of people taking them for the wrong reasons,” he noted.
“There’s nothing wrong with trying them, just like there’s nothing right with trying alcohol or tobacco.”
The ketamine pill, which comes in tablets, pills and capsules, has gained popularity in recent years, thanks to a recent lawsuit filed against several manufacturers.
A number of other manufacturers have come under scrutiny for using a “keto diet” label, which is a marketing ploy for people on a low-carbohydrate diet, to sell their products.
The FDA says ketamine can cause overdose in doses as small as 10 milligrams, which can lead to death in up to 40% of users.
According to Dr. Ludwig, some people on the keto drug list are “willing to try the pills.”
“I’m seeing that people who are on the list who have taken these pills and have not been harmed have actually taken them,” he told ABC News.
“Some of those people have gone into cardiac arrest, others have gone to the hospital.
So you can see, if people are trying these, they’re trying to make the pills look like they’re a better alternative to the drug they’re on.”
In some cases, people who’ve taken the pills have tried to overdose on the pill, and died from their overdose, he said, adding that the FDA was trying to ensure that ketamine users would be properly labeled.
“The FDA is really trying to take a hard look at what the labeling is,” he observed.
“We have to have the right labeling for people who have tried these pills, because if we don’t have that label then people will be willing to try these.”