FDA Warns Public to avoid 69 Brands of Dangerous Diet Pills — Missouri Defective Medication Attorney

By January 21, 2009Dangerous Drugs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers not to use any of 69 defective over-the-counter diet drugs, USA Today reported Jan. 7. The drugs covered by the warning have several active ingredients that are not listed on the labels, despite the fact that many are marketed as “natural” or “herbal” dietary supplements. The active ingredients include rimonabant, which failed to win FDA approval, and has been withdrawn from the market in Europe after authorities there linked it to five deaths and 720 adverse reactions. A full list of the affected drugs is available in the FDA’s press release; consumers who have taken the drugs are urged to speak to doctors immediately.
Other unlisted but potentially dangerous active ingredients in the drugs include phenytoin, an anti-seizure medication; phenolphthalein, a suspected carcinogen; and sibutramine, a controlled substance related to the defective diet drug Fen-Phen. Sibutramine is approved for sale in the United States as Meridia, but has a wide variety of serious side effects, including high blood pressure, seizures, partial paralysis, breathing problems, serotonin toxicity and suicidal thoughts. Because of those side effects and potential drug interactions, it is not prescribed for people taking certain antidepressants and migraine medications, as well as those with heart and blood pressure problems, seizures, hyperthyroidism or certain psychiatric disorders.
By selling sibutramine, rimonabant and other potentially dangerous drugs without disclosing their ingredients, the manufacturers of these diet pills bypass the safeguards in our prescription drug system. This puts the drugs’ users at risk of death or disabling chronic medical conditions — when they thought they were taking harmless dietary supplements. The drug makers, most of which are located in China, may face criminal charges after an investigation. But for victims, criminal charges almost always come too late, after they’ve lost a loved one or suffered grave complications due to the defects in these “natural” supplements.
Treating a serious medical emergency can cost tens of thousands of dollars; a permanent chronic illness or disability can run into six or seven figures over a lifetime, not counting lost income for those who can no longer work. And these figures don’t take into account the devastating personal losses suffered by victims and their families. To recover those costs and hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for their actions, many victims choose to bring defective drug lawsuits. Carey, Danis & Lowe has substantial experience with these dangerous medication claims. Based in St. Louis, we represent clients in Missouri, southern Illinois and throughout the United States. For a free consultation about your own claim, you can contact us online or call toll-free 1-877-678-3400.