On October 23, 2015, the FDA warned consumers not to buy or use the weight loss supplements listed below because they were found to contain sibutramine, phenolphthalein and/or sildenfil. Each was identified during an examination of international mail shipments:
Sibutramine, the active ingredient in the obesity drug Meridia, was removed from the U.S. market in October 2010 because it can substantially increase blood pressure and pulse rate in some individuals, and may present a significant risk for patients with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, or stroke. This drug may also interact, in life-threatening ways, with other medications a consumer may be taking.
Phenolphthalein, once an ingredient in some over-the-counter laxative products, was reclassified by the FDA in 1999 as "not generally recognized as safe and effective."
Sildenafil is the active ingredient in Viagra, which is prescribed for erectile dysfunction. This drug can cause symptoms like headache and flushing, and can interact with medications containing nitrates such as nitroglycerine, resulting in dangerously low blood pressure.
Consumers who have purchased these supplements should discontinue use immediately and contact their healthcare provider if they have experienced any adverse side effects. Consumers and healthcare providers are also encouraged to report any adverse reactions to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program.
See ConsumerLab.com's Review of Weight Loss Supplements for tests of related products.
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