UPDATED: FDA Releases Consumer Alerts for Hidden Medications in Weight Loss, Sexual Enhancement Supplements
If the number of consumer warnings is any indication, the labs at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been busy.
The agency continues to issue consumer alerts for weight loss and sexual enhancement supplements that contain hidden prescription drugs.
Many of the products were identified during an FDA inspection of international mail shipments.
Sold as all natural, these drugs are not listed on the supplement's label and can have potentially dangerous side effects when used with other medications or if they are stopped abruptly.
Oxy Elite Pro Super Thermogenic and Botanical Slimming contains fluoxetine, commonly known as Prozac. Fluoxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used to treat depression, bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder and premenstrual dysphonic disorder.
The use of SSRIs have been associated with serious side effects including suicidal thinking, abnormal bleeding, and seizures. When taken along with medication for similar or common conditions (aspirin, ibuprofen, or other drugs for depression, anxiety, bipolar illness, blood clots, chemotherapy, heart conditions, and psychosis), ventricular arrhythmia or sudden death can occur.
Seven Slim and Nine Slim contain phenolphthalein a chemical that is no longer approved for use in the United States. Studies have indicated that it increases the risk of cancer.
Elimulating Weight & Toxin Keeping Beauty and L-Carnitine Sob Strengthening Version Slimming Miracle Capsule contains sibutramine, a controlled substance that was removed from the market in October 2010 for safety reasons. Sibutramine is known to substantially increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some people and may present a significant risk for those with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, or stroke.
In some cases, the supplements contain multiple medications, including those that were never intended for weight loss, like Viagra.
Lean Body Extreme contains sibutramine, desmethyl sibutramine, phenolphthalein, and sildenafil, which is the active ingredient in Viagra.
Natural Max Slimming contains sildenafil, fluoxetine and sibutramine and Diablos Eca Fire Caps contain sildenafil, phenolphthalein, sibutramine and an analogue of sibutramine, deisobutylbenzylsibutramine.
Black Mamba Hyperrush contains sibutramine and phenolphthalein.
Sexual Enhancement Drugs
A large portion of the supplements are sold for sexual enhancement.
The following supplements were made with sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra. Viagra is an FDA-approved drug to treat erectile dysfunction, but could interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs, such as nitroglycerin, and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels.
Libigrow XXX Treme, Night Man, 72HP, Tibet Babao, Black King Kong, Hard Wang, MME MAXMAN, FX 3000, Vigour 300, Germany Niubian, Baolong, Vim-25, Rhino Blitz, Santi Scalper, Plant Vigra, Vigra, Sex Men, Super Hard, African Superman, Black Mamba Premium, Black Ant King, Bigger Longer More Time More Sperms [sic], Herb Viagra, La Pepa Negra, and Stiff Nights.
The supplement Male Silkworm Moth Nourishing Oral Liquid is made with vardenafil, the active ingredient in Levitra, another FDA-approved erectile dysfunction medication. Levitra has the same potential side effects as Viagra.
Health care professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of any of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.
Remember: The FDA is only responsible for testing and approving prescription drugs and medical devices. Supplements like those listed above are not required to get federal approval before they are marketed. Testing by the FDA is done to inform the public of a growing trend of mislabeled supplements, often sold in gas stations, retail stores and online. The agency advises caution when purchasing diet, body building or sexual enhancement supplements that were not prescribed by a doctor.