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>>

  • Northport lodge trashed by Eastern Washington fraternity posing as WSU bird watchers

    Northport lodge trashed by Eastern Washington fraternity posing as WSU bird watchers

    Saturday, April 21 2018 4:26 PM EDT2018-04-21 20:26:57 GMT

    NORTHPORT, Wash. - A 22-year-old Eastern Washington University student is facing charges after he organized a party for his fraternity at a Northport lodge that resulted in thousands of dollars in damage. When reserving the lodge, he told the owner it was to host a Washington State University bird watchers club. 

    >>

    NORTHPORT, Wash. - A 22-year-old Eastern Washington University student is facing charges after he organized a party for his fraternity at a Northport lodge that resulted in thousands of dollars in damage. When reserving the lodge, he told the owner it was to host a Washington State University bird watchers club. 

    >>
  • Police: Woman accidentally shoots and kills young daughter

    Police: Woman accidentally shoots and kills young daughter

    Saturday, April 21 2018 9:50 PM EDT2018-04-22 01:50:25 GMT
    Human remains found in burned home of Idaho suspectHuman remains found in burned home of Idaho suspect

    WICKLIFFE, Ohio (AP) - Police say a 2-year-old girl has been accidentally shot and killed by her mother at a hotel outside of Cleveland.    Wickliffe police in a statement say emergency crews were called to an Econo Lodge around 11 p.m. Friday. A police officer and paramedics tried to resuscitate the girl, who was pronounced dead a short time later at a hospital. 

    >>

    WICKLIFFE, Ohio (AP) - Police say a 2-year-old girl has been accidentally shot and killed by her mother at a hotel outside of Cleveland.    Wickliffe police in a statement say emergency crews were called to an Econo Lodge around 11 p.m. Friday. A police officer and paramedics tried to resuscitate the girl, who was pronounced dead a short time later at a hospital. 

    >>
  • Dad stabbed to death as daughter sits in lap at restaurant

    Dad stabbed to death as daughter sits in lap at restaurant

    Saturday, April 21 2018 10:40 AM EDT2018-04-21 14:40:37 GMT

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - A homeless man was charged Friday with murder in a random attack on a California father who was stabbed in the neck as his 5-year-old daughter sat in his lap in a crowded beachside steakhouse. Jamal Jackson, 49, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of 35-year-old Anthony Mele. He was being held in Ventura County jail on a $1.5 million bail.

    >>

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - A homeless man was charged Friday with murder in a random attack on a California father who was stabbed in the neck as his 5-year-old daughter sat in his lap in a crowded beachside steakhouse. Jamal Jackson, 49, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of 35-year-old Anthony Mele. He was being held in Ventura County jail on a $1.5 million bail.

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

  • 1 student wounded in shooting at Florida high school

    1 student wounded in shooting at Florida high school

    Saturday, April 21 2018 12:40 AM EDT2018-04-21 04:40:23 GMT
    Doug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner via APDoug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner via AP
    Doug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner via APDoug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner via AP

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - A gunman carrying a shotgun in a guitar case opened fire at a Florida high school, wounding one student as other students and teachers piled desks and cabinets against classroom doors to make barricades. The 19-year-old suspect was later arrested and apologized as he was led away in handcuffs. Friday's shooting at Forest High School in Ocala happened on a day planned for a national classroom walkout to protest gun violence. A 17-year-old boy was taken ...

    >>

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - A gunman carrying a shotgun in a guitar case opened fire at a Florida high school, wounding one student as other students and teachers piled desks and cabinets against classroom doors to make barricades. The 19-year-old suspect was later arrested and apologized as he was led away in handcuffs. Friday's shooting at Forest High School in Ocala happened on a day planned for a national classroom walkout to protest gun violence. A 17-year-old boy was taken ...

    >>
  • CDC expands E. coli warning to all romaine lettuce

    CDC expands E. coli warning to all romaine lettuce

    Friday, April 20 2018 8:34 PM EDT2018-04-21 00:34:09 GMT
    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded its warning about an E. coli outbreak connected to romaine lettuce to cover all forms of romaine, including whole heads and hearts of romaine grown in the Yuma, Arizona, growing area. A previous warning was limited to chopped forms of romaine, including salads and salad mixes. The CDC based the new warning on eight new cases of acute gastroenteritis at a correctional facility in Nome, Alaska, that appear to be c...>>
    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded its warning about an E. coli outbreak connected to romaine lettuce to cover all forms of romaine, including whole heads and hearts of romaine grown in the Yuma, Arizona, growing area. A previous warning was limited to chopped forms of romaine, including salads and salad mixes. The CDC based the new warning on eight new cases of acute gastroenteritis at a correctional facility in Nome, Alaska, that appear to be c...>>
  • Off-duty LAPD officer charged with murder in DUI crash

    Off-duty LAPD officer charged with murder in DUI crash

    Friday, April 20 2018 7:07 PM EDT2018-04-20 23:07:07 GMT

    LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AP) - An off-duty Los Angeles police officer has been charged with murder in a fiery freeway crash that killed three people.    Prosecutors say Edgar Verduzco also was charged Friday with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence in connection with the Sept. 26 crash.  Verduzco appeared in court Friday but didn't enter a plea. The name of his attorney wasn't immediately known. Police said Verduzco was 

    >>

    LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AP) - An off-duty Los Angeles police officer has been charged with murder in a fiery freeway crash that killed three people.    Prosecutors say Edgar Verduzco also was charged Friday with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence in connection with the Sept. 26 crash.  Verduzco appeared in court Friday but didn't enter a plea. The name of his attorney wasn't immediately known. Police said Verduzco was 

    >>