Sibutramine is a Hidden Ingredient in Four Weight Loss Supplements, Warns FDA By Tod Aronovitz | 06/27/13 | 0 Comment

The Food & Drug Administration is alerting consumers about the hidden ingredient sibutramine found in four weight loss products that are sold over the Internet and in some retail stores. The four products are marketed under the following names:

  • Extreme Body Slim
  • Fat Zero
  • Fruit & Plant Slimming
  • Paiyouji Plus

The FDA reports that all four contain sibutramine, a controlled substance that was removed from the market in October 2010 for safety reasons. The FDA is recommending that consumers not purchase or use, and discard these products. Sibutramine is known to substantially increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some people and may present a significant risk for patients with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias or stroke. The ingredient may also interact, in life-threatening ways, with other medications.

Lab results also verified that two of the products— Fat Zero and Fruit & Plant Slimming—contain phenolphthalein, an ingredient the FDA reclassified as “not generally recognized as safe and effective” in 1999. Prior to 1999, phenolphthalein was used in some over-the-counter laxative products.

Consumers experiencing any negative side effects are encouraged to consult a health care professional and report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program, or by calling 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form to mail back upon completion.

The FDA has noted a growing trend of dietary supplements or conventional foods with hidden drugs and chemicals. These products are typically promoted for sexual enhancement, weight loss and body building, and are often represented as being “all natural.” Because the FDA does not have the resources to test and identify all products marketed as dietary supplements that have potentially harmful hidden ingredients, consumers are urged to exercise caution before purchasing any of these types of products.

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