FDA Warns Consumers about Weight Loss Pills

The Food and Drug Administration has released a warning concerning certain diet pills that pose significant health risks because they contain undeclared, active pharmaceutical ingredients. The FDA warning concerns 25 different diet pills that may cause health problems such as high blood pressure, seizures, tachycardia, palpitations, heart attack or stroke. The tainted weight loss products are:
Fatloss Slimming
2 Day Diet
3x Slimming Power
Japan Lingzhi 24 Hours Diet
5x Imelda Perfect Slimming
3 Day Diet
7 Day Herbal Slim
8 Factor Diet
7 Diet Day/Night Formula
999 Fitness Essence
Extrim Plus
Imelda Perfect Slim
Lida DaiDaihua
Miaozi Slim Capsules
Perfect Slim
Perfect Slim 5x
Phyto Shape
ProSlim Plus
Royal Slimming Formula
Slim 3 in 1
Slim Express 360
Zhen de Shou
Venom Hyperdrive 3.0
The products, some of which are marketed as “dietary supplements”, contain sibutramine (a controlled substance), rimonabant (a drug not approved for marketing in the United States), phenytoin (an anti-seizure medication), and phenolphthalein (a solution used in chemical experiments and a suspected cancer causing agent). Some of the amounts of active pharmaceutical ingredients far exceeded the FDA-recommended levels, putting consumers’ health at risk, according to the December 22, 2008 FDA news release. According to the release, “The health risks posed by these products can be serious; for example, sibutramine, which was found in many of the products, can cause high blood pressure, seizures, tachycardia, palpitations, heart attack or stroke. This drug can also interact with other medications that patients may be taking and increase their risk of adverse drug events. The safety of sibutramine has also not been established in pregnant and lactating women, or in children younger than 16 years of age.
Rimonabant, another ingredient found in these products, was evaluated, but not approved by the FDA for marketing in the United States. The drug, which is approved in Europe, has been associated with increased risk of depression and suicidal thoughts and has been linked to five deaths and 720 adverse reactions in Europe over the last two years.
Health care professionals and consumers should report serious adverse events (side effects) or product quality problems to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail, fax or phone.”
The diet drug industry has been plagued by health concerns since the infamous fen-phen led to massive lawsuits and years of litigation not to mention untold human suffering and death. These drugs, marketed to consumers desperate to lose weight, are dangerous and need to be more closely regulated. Their promises far outweigh the risks to human health. These drug companies are marketing these products playing upon an age old desire to be thin. It’s unethical and illegal.