Weight Loss Pills

March 20, 2009

Audience: Consumers, primary care healthcare professionals

[UPDATE 03/20/2009] FDA expanded its nationwide alert to consumers about tainted weight loss products containing undeclared, active pharmaceutical ingredients. The FDA has identified additional weight loss products (Herbal Xenicol, Slimbionic, and Xsvelten) and new undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients (fenproporex, fluoxetine, furosemide, and cetilistat). The current list now includes 72 products.

[Posted 12/22/2008] FDA alerted consumers nationwide not to purchase or consume more than 25 different products marketed for weight loss because they contain undeclared, active pharmaceutical ingredients that may put consumers' health at risk. The undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients in some of these products include 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). The weight loss products, some of which are marked as "dietary supplements," are promoted and sold on various web sites and in some retail stores.

FDA advises consumers who use the products to stop taking them and consult their healthcare professional immediately as the health risks posed by these products can be serious (for example, high blood pressure, seizures, tachycardia, palpitations, heart attack or stroke). FDA also encourages consumers to seek guidance from healthcare professional before purchasing weight loss products. See the FDA News Release for a listing of the names of the 25 referenced products.

[March 20, 2009]

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