A WOMAN died after taking diet pills she bought online.

Bethany Shipsey, 21, purchased the "fat-burning" tablets, which contained Dinitrophenol (DNP), from Ukraine in 2017.

She was rushed to hospital, where she suffered a cardiac arrest and died two days later.

DNP is sold illegally as a weight-loss supplement and can cause organ failure and be lethal, according to Healthline.

From October this year, it will be classified as a poison.

This means anyone wanting to buy it, or products that contain it, must do so through a registered pharmacist.


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But Bethany's parents, from Worcester, want it banned completely.

Dad Doug told ITV News: "It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough."

Mum Carole added: "We’ve lost one of the most precious things in our lives, and it’s really difficult because you watch her friends and within her peer group they’re getting married and having babies and she should really be part of that."

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has also called for an outright ban.

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English Board Chair Thorrun Goviind said: "It’s killing people and that’s why we’re so concerned about it.

"We're really pleased that it’s been put on the poisons register but we want to see it banned completely.

"There is no reason that this is needed for human or animal use so we want to make sure that people can’t access it and those that are selling this and making money out of vulnerable people are held to account for it."

An inquest into Bethany's death heard she was a rape victim who had previously taken 14 overdoses but was not considered a suicide risk.

Worcestershire Coroners Court was told she was left stranded on a hospital trolley in a packed A&E corridor while the pills "burned her from in the inside".

A message she sent a pal just before she died read: "I have just overdosed on DNP.

"I'm petrified of telling anyone because it is like my 15th overdose."

Bethany was sexually assaulted by her ex-boyfriend Barry Finch, who was sentenced to six years in jail in August 2016.

Coroner Geraint Williams recorded a narrative verdict, including a finding of suicide.

What is dinitrophenol (DNP)?

DNP (2,4-Dinitrophenol) is marketed as a diet pill but selling it for human consumption is illegal.

It was initially used during World War I for weapons until scientists discovered it boosts metabolism and burns fat if ingested.

But it can cause an increase in temperature and metabolic rate, which can prove fatal.

The drug is used as a photographic chemical, a fertiliser and in the manufacturing of dyes and explosives.

It is classified as an explosive under UN regulations and the UK Explosive Act 2014.

Since 2017, at least 33 people have died from taking DNP in the UK.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 116123.

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