Millions of Americans are going on a diet and using weight loss pills and more than $30 billion is spent each year on the various weight loss pills, foods and drinks. The choice of weight loss pills has always been a tough one. There are so many pills in the market that it can be a daunting task, trying to decide which pills are safe, and most people base their decision on going with pills that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
But what about the ones not approved by the FDA? How safe are they?
What happened recently can question the safety of drugs/supplements not approved by the FDA. FDA told consumers to stop using the weight-loss pills – Hydroxycut. Fourteen of Hydroxycut’s products have been recalled, excluding “Hoodia” and “Cleanse” formulas. Many of these are fat burners, energy enhancers and diet aids.
Here are the recalled products:
× Hydroxycut 24
× Hydroxycut Regular Rapid Release Caplets
× Hydroxycut Max Liquid Caplets
× Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Drink Packets
× Hydroxycut Hardcore Liquid Caplets
× Hydroxycut Carb Control
× Hydroxycut Natural
× Hydroxycut Hardcore RTDs (Ready-to-Drink)
× Hydroxycut Hardcore Drink Packets (Ignition Stix)
× Hydroxycut Max Drink Packets
× Hydroxycut Liquid Shots
× Hydroxycut Regular Drink Packets
× Hydroxycut Caffeine–Free Rapid Release Caplets
× Hydroxycut Max Aqua Shed
Before we go ahead, we must caution you to stay away from all these products and visit a physician, if you have been using them for a long time.
Some of them are said to have the potential to cause jaundice and liver failure. People were asked to stop taking them with immediate effect and to call the doctor if anyone suspects they are affected.
The reason the manufacturer, Lovate Health Sciences had to recall these drugs is because FDA received several reports that these weight-loss pills caused serious health problems, including the death of a 19-year-old man. This death actually occurred in 2007, but it was only reported in 2009. There are also said to be other major health problems associated with Hydroxycut, which include seizures, rhabdomyolysis (muscle damage) that can lead to kidney failure and cardiovascular problems. The previous major recall was in 2007, of an infant cough syrup that was considered dangerous if an overdose was given.
While Hydroxycut is not a pharmaceutical prescription medication and not strictly regulated by the FDA, it has many regulations. What this means is that, Hydroxycut was tested only by private companies contracted by the manufacturer.
Since the products contain many ingredients, experts are not yet able to pinpoint if and any ingredients are responsible. Tests are still going on, the results of which can determine the extent of possible danger of Hydroxycut. Consumers have the right to return the pills they already bought.
The manufacturer issued a statement saying, “While this is a small number of reports relative to the many millions of people who have used Hydroxycut products over the years, out of an abundance of caution and because consumer safety is our top priority, we are voluntarily recalling these Hydroxycut-branded products.”
An industry expert says that the reports of health problems do not as yet prove the cause and effect, as it is just a simple association as of now. He said that they are yet to learn if it is a random occurrence or not.
The sad thing about this whole issue is that the dangers of Hydroxycut were felt as far back as 2005. There were two men who had to be taken to the emergency room with complaints of fever, fatigue, jaundice and vomiting. They were healthy otherwise and have not traveled out of the country, had no other risk factors for liver disease. They were found to have not taken any other over-the-counter or prescription medications other than Hydroxycut. The physicians at Cleveland Clinic Foundation also urged caution in using Hydroxycut, because one of the ingredients in Hydroxycut was not safe.
It may come as a shock that all this was happening in 2005, yet this is recalled only now in 2009. If these negative effects were made public earlier, many people would have been saved from liver injuries resulting from the use of Hydroxycut. The manufacturer, instead of warning the customers, continued to sell them claiming to have used high quality and safe ingredients.
Now the question that is in all our minds is, “Are the other diet pills safe?” This uncertainty can be quite scary.