Beware of Hidden Drugs In Supplements

If improving your well-being is a New Year’s resolution, perhaps consider taking nutritional supplements. But before you hit the ‘buy’ button, Consumer Reports has an important warning about potentially dangerous substances found in some supplements sold online.

Sildenafil, tadalafil, and fluoxetine are not only difficult to pronounce, they are also active ingredients in popular prescription drugs. Sildenafil is in Viagra, tadalafil is in Cialis, and fluoxetine is in Prozac.

You may be surprised to learn that the Food and Drug Administration also found those ingredients in some weight loss and sexual enhancement supplements sold on eBay and Amazon. Some of the tainted products sold on Amazon were even labeled Number-One-Best Seller '' or Amazon’s Choice, ” according to an FDA press release.

Consumer reports
The latest from Consumer Reports magazine.

It is illegal for a dietary supplement to contain drugs and the ingredients must be accurately listed on the label. But what the FDA found was essentially “hidden” drugs in many of these supplements.

Ebay responded to Consumer Reports by saying it was “reviewing the site” and would remove the contaminated products. Amazon said it was “reviewing the FDA’s information” and would take action accordingly.

Even if the companies remove the contaminated supplements identified by the FDA, that may not solve the bigger problem. This is just the latest in a series of studies that have identified undeclared and potentially dangerous drugs in dietary supplements.

If you are taking a supplement, check the FDA database on contaminated products to make sure it is not listed. And even if the supplement you are taking is not on the list, you still need to be careful.

Talk to a doctor or other health care professional about whether the ingredients may interact with the medications or supplements you are currently taking.

If you experience a reaction from a supplement, the FDA would like to hear from you. Submit a so-called ‘Adverse Event Report’ online. And if it’s severe, call your doctor or 911.

One comment

  1. I don’t hold much confidence in U.S. Food and Drug Administration decisions on matters in which consumer health interest competes against corporate (lobbyist) interest.

    For example, in the case of the FDA’s approval of Aspartame, then-commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes Jr. permitted the artificial sweetener to be used in foods and drinks prior to his leaving the FDA for a lucrative job with the public relations firm owned by the Aspartame patent holder and producer, G.D. Searle Company.

    This, despite being urged by credible health academics to refrain from immediately granting FDA approval of the sweetener—a chemical concoction discovered accidently in 1965 while G.D. Searle Company chemist James Schlatter was testing an anti-ulcer drug.

    Although I doubt it will be forthcoming, strong laws/rules could be passed to prevent former officials from benefiting from their employment with government regulatory bodies. It could be something like the starter measure taken by my home province’s (B.C.) government disallowing lobbying by former cabinet ministers and political staff for two years after leaving their jobs, from which they typically take valuable inside information that can enrich lobbying firms.

    Liked by 1 person

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