November 20, 2014 — Forever Beautiful Bee Pollen, made by REFA Enterprises, has been recalled because it may contain sibutramine and phenlophthalein, hidden ingredients with dangerous side effects.
Products affected by the recall:
- Forever Beautiful Bee Pollen (UPC # 6333090804632)
- Forever Beautiful Infinity (UPC # 633090804649)
No adverse events have been reported. The products were marketed as dietary supplements for weight-loss. They were sold in bottles of 60 capsules on the internet from July 7 to November 3, 2014.
What is the problem?
Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of sibutramine, an appetite-suppressant that was originally marketed as the prescription obesity drug Meridia. It was withdrawn from the market in October 2010 due to safety risks, including seizure, heart attacks, arrhythmia, and stroke. The SCOUT clinical trial found a 16% increased risk of cardiovascular side effects compared to a placebo.
The FDA warns:
“Sibutramine can increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some patients and may present a risk for those with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias or stroke.”
Some products also tested positive for phenolphthalein, a laxative that has was sold for much of the 20th century in over-the-counter in products like Ex-Lax. The FDA withdrew approval after studies raised concerns of carcinogenicity (cancer), gastrointestinal problems, irregular heartbeat, and more.
These supplements may also interact with other medications a person is taking.
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