Search our website Find job opportunies at THI and St. Luke's Find a doctor location and contact information
Heart Information Center
Ask a Heart Doctor
  Back to previous page


Help us improve this service.

Your feedback will help guide us in developing this site.

Ask a Texas Heart Institute Doctor 
Informed patients make better patients.


Could taking phen-fen 12 years ago be causing my shortness of breath now?

I am 49 y/o female. I have had increasing shortness of breath over the last year, both at rest and with exertion. With exertion, I also become syncopal and diaphoretic. I took phen-fen for only a few months about 12 years ago. I become syncopal when taking a shower as well. Should I be concerned about pulmonary hypertension?  

submitted by Tammy from Seattle, Washington on 8/23/2011


by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Raymond F. Stainback, MD    

Raymond F. Stainback, MDThank you for your question. These are indeed worrisome symptoms that should be evaluated by a cardiologist or pulmonologist soon. It would be a routine matter to exclude pulmonary hypertension and make a general assessment and diagnosis. Although phen-fen was found to cause pulmonary hypertension and also cardiac valve disease in a small minority of patients, it would be unusual for the symptoms to be manifest 12 years after exposure. There are a number of other conditions that can also cause the same symptoms. Please seek medical attention if you have not already.    

See also on this site:      

Has your question or a similar one already been answered?

Search all the Heart Doctor questions and answers.

To search for a doctor or access St. Luke's physician referral service, use the "Find a Doctor" link at the top of this page.

Updated August 2011
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to us on YouTube Find Us on Flicikr Follow Us on Pinterest Add us on Google+ Find us on LinkedIn 

Please contact our Webmaster with questions or comments.
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
© Copyright Texas Heart Institute
All rights reserved.