December 31, 2014 — Consumer Reports has published results of a national survey suggesting that many Americans are misinformed about the safety of weight-loss supplements.
The study involved nearly 3,000 people in the United States, including about 25% who reported using diet pills. Of the people who used the pills, more than 25% said they used the pill because they thought it was a safe way to lose weight.
The study highlighted widespread confusion about the regulatory status of weight-loss supplements. The survey found that one in five (20%) people thought that the FDA guarantees that diet pills are tested for safety and effectiveness. In reality, the FDA only tests a small fraction of diet pills on the market.
Another 20% of survey takers said they thought “natural” supplements were safer than pharmaceutical medications. Unfortunately, even natural ingredients can have dangerous side effects — especially when they are taken at extremely high concentrations or doses.
Many supplements are labeled as “all-natural” but actually contain hidden, illicit pharmaceutical ingredients like sibutramine (appetite-suppressant) or phenolphthalein (laxative). The FDA has banned both of these ingredients due to concern about side effects, including deadly cardiovascular events and cancer.
Even if a supplement really is “all-natural,” it can still interactions with other medications a person is taking. This is one reason why it is important to tell your doctor about all supplements you are taking. Pharmaceutical ingredients in diet pills can also interact, sometimes in life-threatening ways, with prescription medications.
In the last few years, several weight-loss pills have been linked to outbreak of liver damage. One example is OxyElite Pro, a supplement that was linked to nearly 100 cases of hepatitis (liver inflammation), 47 hospitalizations, 3 liver transplantations, and one death.
Liver damage has also been linked to several diet pills that contain highly-concentrated extracts of green tea (EGCG), including SlimQuick, Saba ACE, and Hydroxycut.
Do I have a Weight-Loss Supplement Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting diet pill induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with liver failure, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Dietary Supplement Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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