The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to purchase more than 25 weight-loss products because they contain dangerous drugs and unknown substances not listed on their labels.
An FDA analysis found some of the products contained controlled substances, known carcinogens and even an anti-seizure medication. Some of the amounts of active pharmaceutical ingredients far exceeded the FDA-recommended levels, putting consumers' health at risk.
These weight loss products, some of which are marketed as “dietary supplements,” are promoted and 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.
Side effects of taking those products can be serious, including high blood pressure, seizures, palpitations, heart attack and stroke. Some of the drugs may also have adverse interactions with other medications.
The FDA advises consumers who have used any of these products to stop taking them and consult their healthcare professional immediately. The FDA encourages consumers to seek guidance from a healthcare professional before purchasing weight loss products.
Most of the products named by the FDA are sold online and in retail stores and are often labeled as herbal or natural.