An FDA news release December 15, 2010 states letters have been sent out to dietary supplement manufacturers concerning “deceptively labeled ingredients” in dietary supplements. Through the years, FDA has provided consumer alerts for nearly 300 products marked as dietary supplements which have tainted ingredients or have caused injury.
Doctors and pharmacists have been warning patients against the use of these over the counter dietary suppliments due to their high risk and low level of FDA scrutiny. What we put in our bodies is important and a well informed consumer makes sure that anything they take is safe and been tested rigorously.
Five major trade associations – Council for Responsible Nutrition, Consumer Healthcare Products Association, United Natural Products Alliance, Natural Products Association and American Herbal Products Association – are joining FDA to call for more media attention to the subject of keeping dietary suppliments safe for consumption.
According to the FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D the “manufacturers selling these tainted products are operating outside the law,” and the “tainted products can cause serious adverse effects, including strokes, organ failure, and death.” A new RSS feed has been set up to warn consumers quickly about these tainted dietary supplements.
The FDA highlighted the three categories and illegal ingredients to beware of:
Weight loss products containing active ingredients such as sibutramine
The drug Merida has sibutramine as its active ingredient and was recently withdrawn from the market due to increased risk of stroke and heart attack. Some of the dietary suppliments containing sibutramine are Slimming Beauty, Solo Slim and Slim-30.
Sexual enhancement products that contain the same active ingredient the approved drugs Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra
The FDA warns that these approved products are dispensed only by prescription and should not be used by people who have certain medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, because of the unsafe drop in blood pressure that could occur. Any dietary suppliment, such as Vigor-25, Duro Extend Capsules for Men, Magic Power Coffee, are in violation of FDA law and are unsafe to take.
Body-building products containing anabolic steroids
Steroids for the use of body-building have been a long time topic of dissention in the medical community because these products can increase the risk for heart attack, cause severe liver injury, stroke and even death. Dietary suppliments like Tren Xtreme, ArimaDex, and Clomed have been singled out as dangerous and are to be avoided.
Michael Levy, director of the Division of New Drugs and Labeling Compliance at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research warned, “Consumers should avoid products marketed as supplements that claim to have effects similar to prescription drugs.” The letter is available on the FDA’s website for public viewing. The FDA letter also warns of their right to conduct seizures, criminal prosecutions and even felony charges. A special email has been set up, [email protected] for individuals to report manufacturers or suppliers which are in violation of FDA law. To report anonymously, go to the “Report Suspected Criminal Activity” form at http://www.fda.gov/oci.
Next time you head to the drug store or consider purchasing one of these dietary suppliments online, check out the FDA website for the latest update on recalls, withdrawals and safety issues. Never purchase any vitamin or dietary suppliment without seeking the advice of your doctor or pharmacist first.