A young woman who took a weight loss drug for just three weeks developed a potentially fatal condition after suffering two days of pain, sickness and diarrhoea.

The 21-year-old, from Kuwait, developed ketoacidosis, which is when ketones build up in the blood, causing it to become too acidic. This level of toxic blood can cause fatal heart problems.

The patient, whose case was documented in the European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine, had been taking tirzepatide, the active ingredient in the weight loss drugs Mounjaro and Zepbound, once a week.

After being admitted to hospital, she was found to have 26 times the normal level of ketones in her blood.

Drugs including Ozempic and Mounjaro have been linked to more than 100 deaths in the US, with ketoacidosis one of a number of possible side effects.

GLP-1 agonists like Mounjaro work by supressing the appetite, meaning those who take them get less energy from food.

If the body doesn’t get enough food to convert into energy, it starts to break down fat stores, a process which produces ketones as a by-product.

Symptoms of ketoacidosis include excessive thirst, frequent urination, vomiting, stomach pain, weakness, shortness of breath, confusion, and fruity-scented breath.

The woman from Kuwait was admitted to hospital with raised blood pressure, high heart rate and difficulty breathing.

After four weeks, her symptoms had resolved, and doctors recommended she stop taking tirzepatide.

The Food and Drug Administration has 117 recorded deaths linked to people taking weight loss drugs since 2018.

Of the deaths, 81 were associated with semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic and Wegovy, while 36 deaths were associated with tirzepatide.

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