The Food and Drug Administration is warning against more than 20 brands of so-called ‘natural’ weight-loss pills which actually contain a banned prescription diet drug called Meridia (brand name) or sibutramine (generic). Meridia was pulled from the U.S. market in 2010 after studies showed it increased users’ risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Weight-loss aids containing hidden Meridia/sibutramine are made by different manufacturers and sold under names such as:
• Lose Weight Coffee
• P57 Hoodia
• Pai You Guo Slim Tea
• Magic Slim Weight Reduction Capsule
• Magic Slim Tea
• Slender Slim 11
• Botanical Slimming
• Acai Berry Soft Gel ABC and
• Dream BodySlimming Capsule.
You can see the whole list here. Most of these brands prominently market the naturalness of their products. The front of the P57 Hoodia package, for instance, claims the pills are “100% herbal and safe.” Acai Berry ABC touts that it’s “100% pure.”
Anyone who’s purchased these products should throw them out and discontinue use, the FDA says.
In August, a New York Times investigation found scores of allegedly-natural weight-loss supplements containing banned pharmaceuticals and other harmful substances, like amphetamines, diuretics or steroids. The FDA says the agency has noticed “an emerging trend” of tainted over-the-counter weight-loss aids. These products, frequently represented as all-natural dietary supplements, contain hidden active ingredients, leading consumers to “unknowingly take products laced with varying quantities of approved prescription drug ingredients, controlled substances, and untested and unstudied pharmaceutically active ingredients.”