Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Prescription drugs keep popping up in dietary supplements

Celia Hoffman | 13 October, 2018, 23:23

Most of the adulterated products, about 45%, were marketed for sexual enhancement, weight loss (about 41%) or muscle-building (12%).

The most common drugs found in supplements were sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) for sex supplements, sibutramine (a banned weight-loss drug) for weight-loss supplements, and synthetic steroids or steroid-like ingredients for muscle-building supplements, the researchers said. Numerous adulterated muscle building products contained undeclared anabolic steroids, which, when abused, can lead to mental problems in the short term and kidney problems, liver damage and heart problems in the long term.

The presence of prescription medicines, often at unknown concentrations, means these supplements are essentially "unapproved drugs" that could be harmful to users' health, according to the study authors. One product contained a drug that raises blood pressure and another drug that lowers it.

It's unclear exactly why these products weren't recalled.

A shocking 20% of supplements tested by the Food and Drug Administration was found to contain prescription medications that had no business being included. Under a 1994 law, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, the products are regulated as food and are therefore not subject to premarket safety and effectiveness testing imposed on pharmaceuticals. And if the supplement was found to be tainted, the agency could "deactivate" the code so consumers could not purchase it, Cohen said.

'The law permits supplements to be sold as if they work in humans, and that creates a perverse incentive for [manufacturers] to sneak something in there so it will actually work'.

Meanwhile, over half of American adults say they take dietary supplements.

More news: Child refugees in Nauru camp struggle to eat, drink, talk - MSF

"Only 360 of 746 (48%) were recalled, leaving the majority of adulterated supplements, more than 350 products, available for sale", Cohen wrote in an editorial published with the study.

Fabricant said his organization fully supports the FDA using its authority to bring misdemeanor charges against companies that adulterate supplements with drugs.

Researchers not affiliated with the FDA analyzed data from the agency's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research department that documents consumer complaints and dietary firm reports of adverse effects that require medical intervention to prevent death, hospitalization, or birth defects.

Though the database contains five pages worth of warnings, the FDA urges on the site that this is "only a small fraction of the potentially hazardous products with hidden ingredients" and consumers should "exercise caution before using certain products". But the study found that the FDA rarely employed such tools; out of the 146 companies involved in the making of the tainted supplements, the FDA issued just seven warning letters; and did not issue any mandatory recalls.

Even after taking action against companies, the FDA sometimes "faces several challenges in deterring fraudulent marketing of these types of products", including relabeling of products to evade detection, Haake wrote. Others may choose them because they are less expensive or because they are readily available at gas stations and convenience stores, Cohen said.

A spokesman for the FDA said the agency would comment later Friday. Sibutramine, widely found in the weight loss products, can substantially increase blood pressure and pulse rate.

"As the dietary supplement industry continues to grow in the United States, it is essential to further address this significant public health issue", the authors concluded.

Recommended

Justice Department approves CVS purchase of Aetna Justice Department approves CVS purchase of Aetna The combination would create a giant with a hand in insurance, prescription-drug benefits and drugstores across the United States. Additionally, the DOJ has informed Aetna that it must enable WellCare to hire employees who are employed by this division.

Gareth Southgate says England playing four-man defence a positive Gareth Southgate says England playing four-man defence a positive One of England's biggest problems in the World Cup , despite reaching the semi-final, was the lack of creativity in the midfield. Marcus Rashford squanders two opportunities as England draw 0-0 with Croatia in their second UEFA Nations League outing.

Samsung’s foldable smartphone will double as a tablet Samsung’s foldable smartphone will double as a tablet With such an approach the Samsung foldable smartphone will be able to deliver on a screen size larger than 6.5-inches. The South Korea-based company released a teaser of a phone with bendable and foldable display technology. .

Diego Maradona lashes out at Lionel Messi in greatest player debate Diego Maradona lashes out at Lionel Messi in greatest player debate Argentina beat Iraq 4-0 on Thursday with a new-look side, taking their unbeaten run since Russian Federation to three games. The attacker hasn't featured for Argentina since their elimination from the World Cup against France at the last-16 stage.

Facebook purges hundreds of spammers spreading ‘sensational political content’ Facebook purges hundreds of spammers spreading ‘sensational political content’ The offending actions included spamming Facebook groups with identical pieces of content and using phony profiles, Facebook said . The social media giant declined a request from VOA News to name the 559 pages and 251 accounts.

Storm Callum lashes Scotland with wind and heavy rain Storm Callum lashes Scotland with wind and heavy rain Whitchurch in Pembrokeshire saw 15mm of rain fall in a matter of hours on Friday morning as Michael moved in. A87 Skye Bridge had reopened to high sided vehicles but with a high winds warning in place.

Cancer Survivor Says Store Manager Asked Him To Cover Disfigured Face Cancer Survivor Says Store Manager Asked Him To Cover Disfigured Face I had no choice! The post was shared more than 8,000 times as of Friday morning. "It was running my customers off". Employees at the store said Thursday that she had not been to work since the incident allegedly happened.

McCABE DENIED: FBI Blocks Release of Disgraced Deputy's New Book McCabe's memos documenting the Rosenstein meeting were turned over to the special counsel Mueller. McCabe was sacked in March for what the Justice Department called a lack of candor.

Stephen Hawking's Final Paper Was Just Released Stephen Hawking's Final Paper Was Just Released Then he made a discovery - the universe and all of its surrounding space and the universe have their clear boundaries and limits. The greatest physicist and cosmologist of our time, Stephen Hawking died at 77 year of life March 14, 2018.

BMW raises stake in main China JV with $4.2 billion deal BMW raises stake in main China JV with $4.2 billion deal In 2017, the famed German brand formed another joint venture with Great Wall Auto to produce electric BMW Mini vehicles. But if the move is a big win for BMW , it spells a diminished role for its Hong Kong-listed partner.

This photographer agency just refused service to "gay-cake" bakers This photographer agency just refused service to Baking the cake would have put the bakers in support of the local campaign for gay marriage, C4M said. It was the first time Britain's Supreme Court had sat for a case in Northern Ireland.

Six Palestinians reportedly killed on Gaza border Six Palestinians reportedly killed on Gaza border Israeli security personnel have been deployed in large numbers around the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar, sources said. On Friday, a bomb was detonated along the fence and a number of Gazans entered into Israel, according to IDF spokesman Lt.

Soyuz rocket carrying astronauts forced into emergency landing after malfunction Soyuz rocket carrying astronauts forced into emergency landing after malfunction The astronauts were to dock at the space station six hours later and join an American, a Russian and a German on board. Flight controllers kept the three space station residents abreast of the situation after Thursday's aborted launch.

Colorado health department reports 14 cases of polio-like illness in children Colorado health department reports 14 cases of polio-like illness in children For example, neurologists may recommend physical or occupational therapy to help with arm or leg weakness caused by AFM. More and more cases of a rare polio-like illness are being reported across the country, according to news reports .

Tianjin Open: Karolina Pliskova comfortably advances to the quarterfinals Tianjin Open: Karolina Pliskova comfortably advances to the quarterfinals Sabalenka a year ago made it to the final of the Tianjin Open , where she was defeated by Russia's Maria Sharapova. The world No.7's 50-minute win came after a powerful start and she claimed 80 percent of her first-serve points.