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Abstract

The majority of patients with bulimia report a history of having used over-thecounter drugs for purposes of weight control. Diet pills are quite commonly used, but usually at low dosages. Laxative abuse is also relatively common and poses significant risks in terms of fluid and electrolyte abnormalities, gastrointestinal bleeding and other systemic effects. Diuretic abuse and use of ipecac are less common but are also associated with serious health consequences. Ipecac is of particular concern because of the risk of cardiomyopathy.