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FDA Says Some Weight Loss Pills Risky

Weight Loss Pills

If you are currently taking a weight loss supplement or are considering doing so as part of a "New Year's Resolution" to loss weight, RECONSIDER.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has just released a list of more than 25 different products marketed for weight loss that should not be used. The reason they should not be used is because they contain undeclared, active pharmaceutical ingredients that may put your health at risk.

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, GMP, 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, Slimtech, Somotrim, Superslim, TripleSlim, Zhen de Shou, and Venom Hyperdrive 3.0.

These weight loss products are often marketed as "dietary supplements" and are sold on various Web sites and in some retail stores. Some of the products claim to be "natural" or to contain only "herbal" ingredients, but actually contain potentially harmful ingredients not listed on the product labels or in promotional advertisements. These products have not been approved by the FDA, are illegal and may be potentially harmful to unsuspecting consumers.

In analyzing these products, the FDA found that 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). Some of the amounts of active pharmaceutical ingredients far exceeded the FDA-recommended levels, putting consumers' health at risk.

If you have been using any of these products, you should stop taking them and consult with your physician immediately.

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The health risks posed by these products can be serious. One example is sibutramine, which was found in many of the products. This drug can cause high blood pressure, seizures, tachycardia, palpitations, heart attack or stroke. Sibutramine 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.

Another example is Rimonabant, an ingredient found in these products. This drug 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. It has been linked to five deaths and 720 adverse reactions in Europe over the last two years.

"These tainted weight loss products pose a great risk to public health because they contain undeclared ingredients and, in some cases, contain prescription drugs in amounts that greatly exceed their maximum recommended dosages," said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA. "Consumers have no way of knowing that these products contain powerful drugs that could cause serious health consequences. Therefore FDA is taking this action to protect the health of the American public."

To report serious side effects or product quality problems to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program, health care professionals and consumers can contact:

Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm

Regular Mail: use postage-paid FDA form 3500 available at: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/getforms.htm and mail to MedWatch, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787

Fax: (800) FDA-0178

Phone: (800) FDA-1088