May 6, 2014 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that two “all-natural” weight-loss supplements actually contain sibutramine, a dangerous appetite-suppressant that was recalled in 2010 due to the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The supplements include Slim Trim U and Natural Body Solution. Both are advertised as herbal supplements with ingredients like bee pollen, Chinese yam, wolfberries, dandelion leaf, green tea extract, and more. However, laboratory tests detected a hidden drug ingredient that was not listed on the label.
The ingredient, sibutramine, was originally sold under the brand-name Meridia. However, it was removed from the market after the SCOUT clinical trial found that sibutramine could increase the risk of cardiovascular events, including heart attack, non-fatal stroke, cardiac arrest, and death. These risks were 16% higher for patients on sibutramine vs. patients on a placebo.
Federal law prohibits dietary supplements from containing pharmaceutical drug ingredients. In addition to serious side effects of sibutramine, it can also interact with other medications a person might be taking.
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