(RxWiki News) Consumers, beware! Imported products marketed as dietary supplements for weight loss or erectile dysfunction may do you more harm than good.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some of these products may contain hidden ingredients.
The FDA is warning consumers that products that claim to be "all natural" aren't necessarily safe or free from hidden drug ingredients.
The agency is advising consumers not to buy the following products that are being promoted and sold for sexual enhancement. These products are being sold online and in certain stores:
- Goldreallas Original and Goldreallas XXX
- Ginseng for Reinforcing Kidney
- Old Chinese
These products often included the active ingredient sildenafil, which is found in prescription drugs approved by the FDA to treat erectile dysfunction, such as Viagra.
While it is FDA-approved, sildenafil must be prescribed by a doctor. Sildenafil may react with nitrates, which are medications often taken for conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease. It can lower blood pressure to potentially dangerous levels.
Even cautious consumers may not be able to tell whether these products contain potentially hazardous ingredients because their labels often don't list them, according to the FDA.
Unlike prescription and some nonprescription drugs, dietary supplements can legally be marketed without an FDA efficacy and safety evaluation.
The agency is advising consumers not to buy the following products that are being promoted and sold for weight loss. These products are being sold online and in certain stores:
- Platinum Max Strength Blue Pill Version
- Platinum Weight Solution – Fat Loss Metabolizer
- Slimming Plus Advanced
- Lean Extreme Max
- X-treme Beauty Slim
These products being promoted for weight loss were found to contain sibutramine, which is a controlled substance that was removed from the market in October of 2010 for safety reasons.
Sibutramine is known to increase the blood pressure and heart rate. As a result, it may be dangerous for those with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, irregular heart rhythms or stroke.
Some of these products were found to contain phenolphthalein, a chemical that has not been approved for use in the United States.
In addition, according to the FDA, one of the biggest risks for consumers is the possibility that undisclosed drug ingredients could interact dangerously with other medications they're taking.
Always ask your pharmacist before you start taking a dietary supplement.