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Redotex: Why the Mexican Diet Pills are Dangerous

Redotex: Why the Mexican Diet Pills are Dangerous

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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Many American consumers have recently taken to purchasing Mexican diet pills, either abroad (in Mexico) or in the U.S. Prescription diet pills like Contrave can be expensive, so cash-strapped consumers often seek cheaper black market options.

In this article we’ll review what “Mexican diet pills” actually are, and why we believe them to be unsafe.

What are Mexican Diet Pills?

Most American consumers who reference “Mexican diet pills” are referring to a brand named Redotex, which is a weight loss supplement that’s trademarked in Mexico but unavailable for sale in the U.S. because it’s not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The pills have dangerous side effects, but have been popular in the black market for decades. The New York Times published an article in 1987 on the illegal flow of Redotex from Mexico to the U.S.

Because the brand is legal in Mexico, American consumers can cross the border and acquire it easily at pharmacies and convenience stores.

What’s it Made Of?

Redotex has five active ingredients: tri-iodothyronine, atropine, diazepam, aloin, and d-norpseudoephedrine.

The first ingredient is a synthetic thyroid hormone. The second is a prescription medication that affects the nervous system. Diazepam is a benzodiazepine (benzo), which has an anti-anxiety effect probably to dull the stimulatory effect of the other ingredients. 

Aloin is a laxative, and d-norpseudoephedrine is a psychoactive stimulant. 

You don’t need a medical background to recognize that those five ingredients sound like a dangerous combination.

Is Redotex Effective?

There aren’t any published medical studies on the effectiveness of Redotex that we could find, presumably because it’s banned in so many countries. Since it was approved for sale in Mexico there’s probably at least some evidence it’s effective for weight loss.

The ingredient tri-iodothyronine may be effective because it's a synthetic thyroid hormone, and weight loss is a common side effect of thyroid medication. Stimulants are also known to cause weight loss because they increase metabolic rate, so the ingredient d-norpseudoephedrine may also be effective.

Redotex may be effective for weight loss short-term, but it’s a dangerous way to treat weight management in our opinion and there aren’t enough long-term studies proving its safety.

Redotex Side Effects

This product has significant side effects, and there are even clinical reports of patients becoming severely ill after a single dose of this product.

A medical study found that just two pills of Redotex can cause life-threatening symptoms due to the high levels of thyroid hormone included. The study detailed a patient who had elevated heart rate and blood pressure after taking the Mexican diet pills, and had to be treated at a hospital.

Another medical study published case reports of two patients with clinical thyrotoxicosis (excess thyroid hormone) due to Redotex use.

Overall this product carries side effect risks that are higher than other diet pills that we’ve reviewed.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews


Redotex is one of the most dangerous ways to induce weight loss. With any medical treatment, benefit needs to be weighed against risk, and the risk with taking these Mexican diet pills is too high.

There are plenty of weight loss strategies which aren’t recommended because of the overall health risks. Abusing stimulants may lead to weight loss, but it would never be recommended as a treatment because it leads to worsening overall health and wellness, and is not an effective long-term strategy.

We recommend avoiding Redotex entirely, and seeking more natural weight loss strategies like diet and exercise modifications which carry little to no risk of harm.

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