How diet pill chemical Dinitrophenol or DNP kills

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On Sunday 12 April, 21-year-old Eloise Aimee Parry took diet pills she’d bought over the internet.

Later that day she was dead. Police said the tablets were believed to contain dinitrophenol, known as DNP – a highly toxic industrial chemical.

Her mum, Fiona Parry, told Newsbeat it’s not a quick fix for losing a bit of weight but a “one-way trip.”

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Image captionFiona Parry told Newsbeat DNP is not a quick fix for shifting a bit of fat

Eloise, from Shrewsbury, was studying Families and Childhood Studies at Glyndwr University.

“She was not overweight,” said her mum. “She genuinely didn’t understand how dangerous this stuff was. This drug wouldn’t let her muscles stop… it just kept saying, burn, burn. You know we’re all distraught.”

When Eloise started to feel unwell, she drove herself to hospital, walked into A&E, and told them calmly what she’d done.

“At that point she was still fine, she looked ok,” said Fiona Parry, but not long after that “they realised the situation was just desperate.”

Two tablets would have been lethal, she took eight’

Eloise’s mum has a degree in chemistry, and understands the dangers only too well.

“This is a drug that speeds up your metabolism, it’s not dissimilar to the explosive TNT. It makes your muscles burn faster, burn off energy, you know, release heat. Your heart races faster, your temperature goes up.”

Fiona says it’s like running and wanting to stop but not being able to: “Your muscles must be crying with pain as they’re forced to exercise.”

Image captionEloise Aimee Parry died in hospital on 12 April

There was nothing the doctors could do to get the drug out of Eloise’s system, they tried desperately to cool her down, but couldn’t. “They were going to have to let it run its course and just try and support her body as it deteriorated.”

Staff in A&E were so busy trying to save Eloise that they weren’t able to contact Fiona until after her death.

“So she was on her own there was nobody with her,” says Fiona.

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‘She was full of life’

Fiona said Eloise was a “real outgoing character” and she’d been shopping in Chester with her sister the day before, and bought lots of new clothes.

“She never intended to do this to herself.”

An inquest has been opened and adjourned until 2 July in Shrewsbury.

 

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