January 12, 2021

FDA Says Some Weight Loss, Other Supplements May Be Dangerous

The FDA has released a consumer update stating that weight loss products and other supplements, including male enhancement products, that are sold online or in stores may be dangerous because they may be illegal. Some of these dietary supplements can be made with potentially dangerous ingredients that are not listed on the label.

FDA Says Weight Loss, Other Supplements May Be Dangerous

Over the past 10 years, the FDA has waned consumers that some products that are sold over the counter contain active hidden ingredients. This is especially the case for products that are marketed for weight loss, pain relief, body building, sleep aids, and male enhancement. Some of these products are actually drugs and are falsely represented as being dietary supplements.

FDA has also found products that are marketed as supplements that claim to treat or prevent serious diseases. Some of the diseases targeted are HIV, cancer, and COVID-19. These items are unapproved drugs that have not been reviewed by the FDA for safety or efficacy. Consumers should never buy them.

The FDA recently tested almost 50 weight loss and male enhancement products that were sold on Amazon and eBay and found that almost all of them contain active pharmaceutical ingredients that are not listed on the label. These ingredients may interact with drugs that consumers are taking, or may be associated with serious side effects.

Some of the undeclared active ingredients found in those products include sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil, sibutramine, desmethylsibutramine, phenolphthalein and/or fluoxetine. Some of these products are prescription drugs, and others have been removed from the market because there were serious safety concerns about them.

While it’s easy to sell a potentially dangerous product online, consumers don’t know and have no way of knowing that the product is potentially dangerous. The FDA is recommending that consumers not purchase theseĀ weight loss, enhancement, body building, pain relief/arthritis, and sleep aid products.

The FDA also maintains a Tainted Products Market as Dietary Supplements database that you can check before you buy something online or in a store. Still, the FDA says that it’s impossible for the database to keep up with all new products released that are potentially dangerous. And a product may have a different but similar name or not be on the list.

If you are thinking of using a product in one of these categories, talk to your doctor first. He or she can help identify reliable and credible information about these products.

It’s also important to be cautious about trusting consumer reviews of these products that make miraculous claims. Websites that direct you to online marketplaces can have claims that are not reviewed by the FDA.

And if you are injured or experience an adverse reaction after taking one of these products, report it to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program so the agency can protect other consumers.

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