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FDA Warns Consumers about Popular Natural Dietary Supplement from Mexico

Tim Boyer's picture

In spite of an earlier report in June by the FDA warning consumers that the popular dietary supplement Reumofan Plus contains non-natural prescription drugs, reports of users suffering complications from taking this supplement continue. As such, a message worth bearing repeating is that unless users discontinue taking this supplement, they run an increased risk of internal bleeding, stroke and death.

Reumofan Plus is advertised as a natural dietary supplement that provide relief for sufferers’ of arthritis and a wide range of musculoskeletal problems—particularly pain in the joints.

Arthritis-related joint problems are a common complaint of aging and one that can greatly lessen an individual’s quality of life. Arthritis involves inflammation and stiffness around the joints that can damage the cartilage that allows bones in joints to slide easily over one another. Simple daily tasks such as walking, climbing stairs, brushing your teeth and cutting your food during mealtime can become very difficult and painful as arthritis progresses.

Reumofan Plus is marketed as a natural remedy for arthritis that reportedly contains a number of natural ingredients including botanical compounds from plants found only in Mexico and Cuba, shark cartilage, glucosamine, vitamin C and calcium. However, according to the findings of officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, what’s not on the label is what consumers should be worried about.

In a press release issued by the FDA, Reumofan Plus contains:

• Diclofenac sodium—a prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that may cause increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke, as well as serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including bleeding, ulceration, and fatal perforation (i.e. causing a hole) of the stomach and intestines.

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• Methocarbamol – a prescription muscle relaxant that can cause sedation, dizziness, low blood pressure, and impair mental or physical abilities to perform tasks such as driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery.

In addition, the FDA also reports that some lots of Reumofan supplements have been found to contain the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone that can cause suppression of a person’s immune system. While Mexican health and government officials have worked toward recalling the Reumofan supplements and stopping production by manufacturer Riger Naturals, sale of the supplement continues at flea markets, outlet retail stores and the Internet.

At least one confirmed report of an adverse reaction linked to Reumofan use includes a case of confirmed adrenal suppression that interferes with normal kidney function. Other adverse reactions including liver damage, sudden worsening of blood glucose levels, weight gain, swelling, and leg cramps have all been linked to users of Reumofan supplements. Another serious concern is the possibility that the ingredients in Reumofan Plus may interfere with the actions of prescribed medications.

FDA officials also warn that discontinuing taking Reumofan Plus can result in abrupt discontinuation complications that include fatigue, nausea, low blood pressure, low blood sugar levels, fever, muscle, and joint pain, dizziness, and fainting from long-term use or high doses of Reumofan pills that contain corticosteroids. Avoidance of these complications may require a taper regimen directed by a physician.

The FDA advises users of Reumofan products to contact their physician immediately and alert them about the use of Reumofan Plus and report any side effects experienced.

Image Source: Courtesy of MorgueFile

Reference: FDA press release: FDA issues alert on Reumofan Plus