Also known as Dexamethasone, Oradexon is a drug that is used primarily by farmers to fatten their cattle so why are they in such high demand in South East Asian brothels?

The reason is bound to disgust you.

Girls as young as twelve and thirteen years of age are forced to take this drug by their madams because it increases their appetite, makes them gain weight rapidly, and leads to the development of “curves” that make these malnourished pre-pubescent teens look older and more attractive to male customers.

“My sardarni forced me to take a tablet. She beat me up and stopped giving food. She threatened me and reminded me about my loans. In this brothel, customers always look for healthy girls. I take Oradexon. I need customers so I can pay my bills and loans. If I don’t get any customers one day, I cannot eat in the next day. I wish to save some money for my son,” said Hashi to Reuters. She is just one of Bangladesh’s many sex workers.

According to media reports, many of these women are sold for as little as 20,000 Bangladeshi taka by their poor families to traffickers and find themselves under bonded sex work in dingy brothels that stink of used condoms.

Oradexon can cause diabetes, high blood pressure, skin rashes, and headaches and is highly addictive. That’s not all – it also weakens the immune system and there have been reports of sex workers dying due to an over-use of the drug.

“When I came here as a young girl I was skinny and dark-skinned. I had to take the pills to become fatter, and it is the same for the women who work for me now. I also make sure they eat lots of rice and take vitamin pills. That’s what the customers like,” said another sex worker Shanti to BBC.

It is a tragic tale that must be dealt with seriously and immediately.