February 26, 2014 — In an ongoing epidemic of liver injuries linked to OxyElite Pro, doctors are seeing an unusual spike in patients — healthy people in their 20s and 30s who take bodybuilding supplements. CBS News 6 reports that one victim was Austin Ashworth, a 27 year-old soccer player who used OxyElite Pro to get back into shape after college.
After using OxyElite Pro for only 30 days, Ashworth says he started getting sick. The supplement turned toxic, causing vomiting, chills, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) even more. He had repeated hospital visits, and doctors determined that he had drug-induced acute hepatitis (liver inflammation).
He spent 35 days in the hospital in less than two months, losing about a pound of weight per day. During that time, he got married, calling his wedding day “horrible. It was supposed to be the best day of your life, but I really was just trying to keep it together the whole time.” Five days later, he was hospitalized again. Although his health is now improving, the threat of liver failure remains.
Over 40 OxyElite Pro Lawsuits Filed
Over 40 people have already filed OxyElite Pro lawsuits against USPLabs, LLC, the Dallas-based manufacturer. These lawsuits were consolidated in a federal litigation in Miami on February 3.
One plaintiff, Eric Rizzo of Islamorada, Florida, claims that OxyElite Pro permanently damaged his liver and nearly killed him. He was diagnosed with acute hepatitis and may need a liver transplant.
Rizzo purchased OxyElite Pro from a Vitamin Shoppe in November. Around Christmas 2013, he developed jaundice. According to Rizzo:
“I was getting sicker and sicker, and finally around New Year’s Day a friend said if I didn’t go to the hospital he was going to call 911. He thought it was food-borne. I was a couple days from dying of liver toxicity.”
Doctors were unable to determine the cause of his liver damage. After he was discharged from the hospital, Rizzo got a call from doctors asking if he had taken OxyElite Pro. The FDA recalled the product in November 2013.
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