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Posted December 15, 2022

Beware of Supplements, Homeopathic Products Promoted to Treat Flu, Says FDA

On December 13, 2022, the FDA warned consumers to beware of supplements and homeopathic products, as well as nasal sprays, sanitizers and other products that promise to prevent or treat the flu.

The agency noted that while there are legally marketed over-the-counter products used to reduce flu symptoms such as fever and muscle aches, and congestion, supplements, homeopathic products and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs cannot prevent, treat, or cure the flu.

Previously, the FDA has issued warnings to companies that promoted products containing ingredients such as elderberry and apple cider vinegar for treating the flu.

The agency also advised consumers to be aware that ingredients in products promoted to prevent or treat flu may cause unexpected side effects or interaction with other medications. In order to avoid potentially fraudulent flu and antiviral products, the agency advises consumers to look out for the following claims:

  • Reduce the severity and length of flu or other viral infections.
  • Boost your immunity naturally without a flu vaccine.
  • Act as a safe and effective alternative to the flu vaccine.
  • Prevent catching the flu or viral infections.
  • Be an effective treatment for flu or viral infections.
  • Provide faster recovery from the flu or viral infections.
  • Support your body’s natural immune defenses to fight off flu or other viruses.

If an individual contracts the flu, antiviral prescription medication from a health care professional is advised, which are FDA-approved and recommended by the CDC.

See ConsumerLab’s Elderberry Supplements Review, Vitamin C Supplements Review, and Zinc Supplements & Lozenges Review for tests of related products.

Also see ConsumerLab’s answers to the questions:

Do any supplements help for flu?

How do different flu vaccines compare and which is best for older people?

For more information, use the link below.

Protect Your Family From Fraudulent Flu Products

See related recalls and warnings:

FDA Warns Elderberry Fair & Co for Promoting Elderberry Supplements and Apple Cider to Treat Colds & Flu

Seller of Elderberry, Tea Warned for Claims of Treating Cold, Flu, Cancer

Seller Warned for Promoting Essential Oils to Treat Flu, MRSA, Measles, and More

FDA Warns Seller of Turmeric, Ashwagandha, Glucosamine, and More

FDA Warns Muscle Sports for Joint Health, Immune & Workout Supplement, Vitamin C, Elderberry, and Other Claims