A TEENAGE girl had part of her colon removed after she ingested illegal diet pills bought online.
The 18-year-old developed a life threatening illness after taking slimming product Botanical Soft Gel.
The young girl faced organ failure associated with ischaemic colitis, a medical condition in which the large intestine is inflamed so much there is an inadequate blood supply.
It can have devastating consequences and the girl underwent life saving treatment at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.
The teen told doctors that she bought the pills online to "tone up" for a holiday.
The Irish Medicines Board (IMB) analysed the pills and found high doses of sibutramine -- an appetite suppressant similar to amphetamines.
Earlier this year the IMB issued a "strong precautionary message" for consumers about the health dangers of sibutramine containing slimming products earlier this year.
Sibutramine was withdrawn from use as a medicine in Ireland and across the entire EU in early 2010 due to the increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
But thousands of these products are still available for purchase illegally online.
Custom officials have reported a 600pc increase in seizure of the products with the substance between 2009 and last year.
When the warning was issued by the IMB earlier this year, it listed 38 weight loss products with sibutramine that are currently sold online.
This includes Botanical Slimming 100pc Natural Soft Gel, which is sold online as Meizitang.
Many of these pills are manufactured in unregulated factories and sold via anonymous email addresses.
The IMB is warning that there can be no guarantee of the safety or quality of the products bought online.