The FDA has issued a big warning about a popular weight loss supplement.
Several health agencies are linking the drug to major health problems like acute hepatitis. This warning comes out a few days after CHOP announced that they are doing away with most dietary supplements.
Dr. Joette Giovinco from the Fox Medical Team was on Good Day to explain more.
The supplement in question is called Oxy Elite Pro. There was an old formulation, but it was changed to a new formulation. The old formulation had different ingredients, and the new formulation looks like it may have been contributing to acute hepatitis.
This has been going on in Hawaii, where 24 cases have been reported. Those people took this particular supplement within sixty days of getting sick. Eleven of them went to the hospital, one died, two had transplants and we are hearing from the CDC that two are still in the hospital.
There is not yet information on far this reaches. Medical experts are looking at other parts of the country and it looks like, perhaps, three others were found in other parts of the country besides Hawaii.
Dr. Jo talked next about the symptoms of the negative health effects of the supplement.
One of the biggest symptoms that the CDC says is loss of appetite, but you would expect after taking this supplement. And that's why people were confused. Some other symptoms that might happen include abdominal pain/discomfort, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and then yellowing of the eyes or the skin.
The CDC says they also noticed that the stool was light, whereas the urine was getting dark. A liver test will also reveal abnormal levels of certain substances.
Sheinelle mentioned that many people do not know that many dietary substances are unregulated.
And according to Dr. Jo, most of the people who suffered from Hepatitis after taking the Oxy Elite Pro were healthy and young, with a median age of 33.
Because there is less regulation with supplements, if you call the company and say you have a negative effect, the company does not have to tell the F.D.A.
Supplement takers have to take the initiative to tell doctors, call poison information center or fill out a form online to let the F.D.A. know, says Dr. Joe.
The FDA didn't find out about the adverse effects of Oxy Elite Pro until people showed up to the transplant centers, said Dr. Joe. Hawaii has only one in the state, and that is why they were consolidated to one area and the doctor notified the FDA. after backtracking, experts found cases all the way back into May of 2013.
"There are a lot of interactions we don't know about, we don't understand," says Dr. Jo. "Just because it is sold over the counter doesn't mean it won't have an adverse effect."