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Abusive Prescription of Psychostimulants: A Study of Two Cases


  • Research presented orally at the 44th Congrès International de Langue Française de Médecine Légale et de Médecine Sociale, June 15–18, 2004, Angers, France.

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Anne-Laure Pélissier-Alicot, M.D., Ph.D.
Service de Médecine Légale, Faculté de Médecine
27, boulevard Jean Moulin
13385 Marseille Cedex 5


ABSTRACT: Because psychostimulants have serious possible side effects and particular potential for abuse, their therapeutic indications are today exclusively limited to disorders such as obesity, narcolepsy, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. We report two cases of abusive prescription of these drugs. The first concerns a woman who was treated for a 3 kg weight gain with fenproporex for 5 years and presented a withdrawal syndrome when this drug was no longer marketed in France. In the second case, a woman who complained of atypical sleep problems was prescribed modafinil, methylphenidate, clobazam, lormetazepam, meprobamate, and aceprometazine, and was found dead in her home a few weeks later in unexplained circumstances. For these two patients, neither the indications, nor the contraindications, nor the prescribing rules for these restricted drugs had been complied with. This case report highlights the extreme danger of these substances and stresses the importance of adhering to the rules of prescription.

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