Diet Products Contain Dangerous Drugs, FDA Warns - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Diet Products Contain Dangerous Drugs, FDA Warns

NBCNEWS.COM - Fat Zero sounds like a safe, natural product, containing bee pollen and other ingredients like green tea and lotus seed. But it also contains sibutramine, a prescription diet drug that was so dangerous it's been pulled off the U.S. market, the Food and Drug Administration says.

The FDA issued warnings about a batch of similar slimming products – all claiming to be natural, and all containing not only sibutramine, but phenolphthalein, a laxative that's also been pulled out of pills because it might cause cancer.

"Fat Zero will give your body the jump start it needs to lose those unwanted pounds," the maker's website promises.

It sure will, says the FDA. But not because of its so-called natural ingredients. The sibutramine in it can damage the heart.

"Sibutramine is a controlled substance that was removed from the market in October 2010 for safety reasons," FDA says in a notice to consumers. "The product poses a threat to consumers because sibutramine is known to substantially increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some patients and may present a significant risk for patients with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, or stroke. This product may also interact, in life-threatening ways, with other medications a consumer may be taking."

Other products tagged by the FDA Tuesday include Fruit & Plant Slimming, which also contains sibutramine and phenolphthalein and Extreme Body Slim, which tests found contains sibutramine.

Sibutramine affects several brain chemicals, including serotinin and norepinephrine. Scientists don't quite understand how it causes weight loss – but in some people in can actually increase appetite.

FDA also issued a warning on Tuesday about a different "natural" product that contains a prescription drug ingredient. This one, Royal Dragon Herbal Tonic Balls, is sold for sexual enhancement and contains vardenafil, the active ingredient in the erectile dysfunction drug Levitra. "This undeclared ingredient may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs, such as nitroglycerin, and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels," FDA cautions.

"Consumers should stop using this product immediately and throw it away. Consumers who have experienced any negative side effects should consult a health care professional as soon as possible."

Unlike prescription drugs, supplements and herbal products are not regulated by the FDA before they are sold. So long as makers don't make specific healthy claims, they can sell products made with ingredients that are "generally recognized as safe". But the FDA can test these products and if prescription drugs or other potentially dangerous ingredients are found, it can warn the public.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mothers describe witnessing attempted child luring near Glass Park

    Mothers describe witnessing attempted child luring near Glass Park

    Thursday, June 22 2017 10:58 PM EDT2017-06-23 02:58:25 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Do you know where your kids are? Thankfully, two women say they were around after a man tried to lure their kids into his car. It happened Wednesday morning in North Spokane near Glass Park off of Hoffman Street. Spokane Police say they are calling this an attempted child luring and they are actively searching for the man. Misty Coleman-Woods says a man in a Subaru pulled up to her home around 10:30 a.m. on 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Do you know where your kids are? Thankfully, two women say they were around after a man tried to lure their kids into his car. It happened Wednesday morning in North Spokane near Glass Park off of Hoffman Street. Spokane Police say they are calling this an attempted child luring and they are actively searching for the man. Misty Coleman-Woods says a man in a Subaru pulled up to her home around 10:30 a.m. on 

    >>
  • Spokane Father's Day fight goes viral on social media

    Spokane Father's Day fight goes viral on social media

    Wednesday, June 21 2017 11:02 PM EDT2017-06-22 03:02:56 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A dad's plan to pick up his daughter for a Father's Day outing turns into accusations of assault and an arrest. Now a Facebook post is going viral because of what the dad didn't do when confronted. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A dad's plan to pick up his daughter for a Father's Day outing turns into accusations of assault and an arrest. Now a Facebook post is going viral because of what the dad didn't do when confronted. 

    >>
  • PHOTOS: $450,000 home in Seattle vs. $450,000 home in Spokane

    PHOTOS: $450,000 home in Seattle vs. $450,000 home in Spokane

    Wednesday, June 21 2017 7:33 PM EDT2017-06-21 23:33:56 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Location, location, location.  You may have seen a post making its way around social media of a house listing in Seattle for nearly $450,000. That sounds about right for the area, right? Well this house is a bit of a fixer upper. The kind with lots of potential if you invest the time and money.  Currently, however, it is shown on the real estate site Redfin in less than perfect condition. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Location, location, location.  You may have seen a post making its way around social media of a house listing in Seattle for nearly $450,000. That sounds about right for the area, right? Well this house is a bit of a fixer upper. The kind with lots of potential if you invest the time and money.  Currently, however, it is shown on the real estate site Redfin in less than perfect condition. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Mad Minute stories from Thursday, June 22nd

    Mad Minute stories from Thursday, June 22nd

    Thursday, June 22 2017 5:57 PM EDT2017-06-22 21:57:07 GMT

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Thursday, June 22nd.

    >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Thursday, June 22nd.

    >>
  • Prosecutors seek to uphold 'Making a Murderer' confession

    Prosecutors seek to uphold 'Making a Murderer' confession

    Friday, June 23 2017 1:49 AM EDT2017-06-23 05:49:35 GMT
    Prosecutors seek to uphold 'Making a Murderer' confessionProsecutors seek to uphold 'Making a Murderer' confession

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Prosecutors say they'll seek to reverse an appeals court decision that the confession of a Wisconsin inmate featured in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer" was improperly obtained and that he should be retried or freed. Brendan Dassey was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 in photographer Teresa Halbach's death on Halloween two years earlier. Dassey told detectives he helped his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill Halbach. Dassey was 16 then and...

    >>

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Prosecutors say they'll seek to reverse an appeals court decision that the confession of a Wisconsin inmate featured in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer" was improperly obtained and that he should be retried or freed. Brendan Dassey was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 in photographer Teresa Halbach's death on Halloween two years earlier. Dassey told detectives he helped his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill Halbach. Dassey was 16 then and...

    >>
  • Huge stuffed cow saves 2-year-old boy after fall out window

    Huge stuffed cow saves 2-year-old boy after fall out window

    Thursday, June 22 2017 9:07 PM EDT2017-06-23 01:07:19 GMT
    Chelsea Police Dept.Chelsea Police Dept.

    CHELSEA, Mass. (AP) - Police in Massachusetts are crediting a huge stuffed cow with saving 2-year-old boy who fell out of a second-story window and onto concrete below. It happened Wednesday in Chelsea.  Police say the boy was playing in a bedroom with his 12-year-old sister and bouncing on the bed when he bounced right out of the window. He fell 16 feet (4 meters) onto the concrete. Luckily, he was holding onto the cow, which broke his fall.     ...

    >>

    CHELSEA, Mass. (AP) - Police in Massachusetts are crediting a huge stuffed cow with saving 2-year-old boy who fell out of a second-story window and onto concrete below. It happened Wednesday in Chelsea.  Police say the boy was playing in a bedroom with his 12-year-old sister and bouncing on the bed when he bounced right out of the window. He fell 16 feet (4 meters) onto the concrete. Luckily, he was holding onto the cow, which broke his fall.     ...

    >>