The FDA announced today that it is advising consumers not to purchase Dr. Mao Slimming Capsules. The product is sold in some stores and can be purchased online. It is promoted for weight loss.

The drug is being recalled as the result of FDA chemical analysis that found the capsules contain a hidden ingredient: sibutramine. Sibutramine was removed from the market and has been classified as a controlled substance since October 2010 for concerns regarding the safety of the substance.

“Emerging dietary supplements are not regulated as strictly as prescription drugs and devices,” commented Daniel Nigh, an attorney with the Levin, Papantonio law firm investigating Stryker hip recall lawsuits and who practices in the areas of personal injury and product liability. “It’s important that consumers exercise caution and are aware of how safe the products they consume or use are.”

The FDA advises individuals who own Dr. Mao Slimming Capsules to discontinue their use and discard them. Sibutramine is known to increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate. It is particularly dangerous to individuals with a history of heart related illness. Further, sibutramine can have potentially life-threatening interactions with other medications available to consumers.

In its release on the product, the FDA went on to warn that the entire class of products are difficult for the FDA to test:

“Note: This notification is to inform the public of a growing trend of dietary supplements or conventional foods with hidden drugs and chemicals. These products are typically promoted for sexual enhancement, weight loss, and body building and are often represented as being ‘all natural.’ FDA is unable to test and identify products marketed as dietary supplements that have potentially harmful hidden ingredients. Consumers should exercise caution before purchasing any product in the above categories. [emphasis added]”

Original Release

Joshua is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @Joshual33.