Despite FDA Warnings, Dangerous Stimulants Remain in Many Supplements
In a recent survey, over 750 dietary supplements available over-the-counter were found to have unapproved pharmaceutical ingredients, including potentially dangerous stimulants, despite FDA warnings. Although the pharmaceutical industry is highly regulated, supplement manufacturers have far fewer regulations to follow. As a result, dangerous ingredients often find their way into supplements, putting consumers at risk for serious injuries or death.
Unapproved Ingredients Found in Hundreds of Supplements
In the study, released in 2018, researchers found 776 dietary supplements manufactured by nearly 150 companies that had unapproved pharmaceutical ingredients that carried warnings from the FDA. The majority of these products were for sexual enhancement, weight loss, and muscle building.
The ingredients of concern were not identified as safe and effective by the FDA. They had unknown concentrations in the supplements studied. The FDA prohibited the use of the ingredients in supplements and homeopathic remedies because of the risk, yet the ingredients are still found in supplements on the shelves today.
Potential Health Risks from Dietary Supplements
These findings are concerning because these ingredients may cause negative health effects. Sometimes the ingredients interact with other medications or supplements a patient is taking, leading to health complications. Other times, the accidental misuse or overuse of a supplement when it is not regulated and labeled properly can lead to health problems. Because concentration levels and even the presence of some ingredients is unknown to consumers, it is entirely possible for them to take too much of a supplement without knowing.
If a supplement has an ingredient that the FDA prohibits, and the manufacturer had a clear knowledge of the FDA’s stance, an individual taking the product who suffers an ill effect may have the right to seek compensation. This is a complex area of law because people take supplements at their own risk, but a personal injury attorney may be able to help. Above all, consumers need to know that the supplements they buy may contain dangerous stimulants and other ingredients, in spite of FDA warnings. They should take extra care when purchasing and consuming over-the-counter products that are intended for sexual enhancement, weight loss, muscle-building, improved cognitive performance, or athletic endurance.