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Posted May 6, 2015

Joint Pain Supplements Found to Contain Diuretics, Antihistamines and Other Undeclared Drugs

On May 4, 2015, the FDA warned consumers not to buy or use the following supplements promoted for joint or back pain because they were found to contain undeclared drugs. Each was identified during an examination of international mail shipments.  

Click the name of each product below to see the FDA warning:

Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid that can cause changes in blood sugar and blood pressure, damage bones and muscles, cause psychiatric problems, and, when taken in high doses for a prolonged period of time, adrenal suppression.

Chlorpheniramine and cyproheptadine are antihistamine drugs, which may cause drowsiness and affect mental alertness.

Furosemide is the active ingredient in Lasix, a potent prescription diuretic for the treatment of congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and edema. It can cause severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. People allergic to sulfonamides may also be allergic to furosemide. Serious adverse effects from overdose may lead to dehydration, seizures, gastrointestinal problems, kidney damage, lethargy (tiredness), collapse, and coma.

Phenylbutazone is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that was discontinued for human use in the United States due to the risk of serious and life-threatening injuries, including bone marrow toxicity. People with anemia, a low white or red blood cell count, or decreased blood platelets may be at a greater risk of death or serious injury. 

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's Reviews of Joint Health Supplements and Ginseng Supplements for tests of related products.)

See Related Warnings:

Herbal Arthritis Supplement Found to Contain Undeclared Drugs

Arthritis Supplement Containing Multiple Drugs Recalled

FDA Warns Consumers of Supplement Containing Prescription Anti-Inflammatory Drug

Recall: Arthritis and Muscle Pain Supplement Contains Prescription Drugs

Dangerous Supplement Being Sold Under New Name

FDA Warns of Life-Threatening Side Effects and Withdrawal Symptoms from Two Arthritis, Muscle Pain Supplements

FDA Warning on Supplement for Pain Relief

For more recalls and warnings, use the link below.