FDA warns against using Hydroxycut, announces recall

Consumer Reports News: May 01, 2009 05:13 PM

The FDA today announced a recall of the dietary supplement Hydroxycut and warned consumers to stop using Hydroxycut products immediately due to reports linking some of them to serious liver injuries.

Hydroxycut products are marketed for weight loss with claims that they burn fat, enhance energy, and are low-carb diet aids. The recall is in response to 23 reports to the FDA of serious health problems by people taking Hydroxycut products—including one death and one case of a patient requiring a liver transplant. The adverse events occurred among people taking Hydroxycut at the recommended doses, the agency said.

Hydroxycut is widely available in grocery stores, pharmacies, and other outlets. The recall includes 14 products marketed under the Hydroxycut name. For a full list, see the FDA’s release here. The products contain a variety of ingredients, and the FDA said it has not yet determined which are responsible for the liver damage. Seek help immediately if you have taken Hydroxycut and notice symptoms of liver injury, including jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes), brown urine, unusual fatigue or weakness, and stomach or abdominal pain.

You can report adverse effects from Hydroxycut or any other supplement to the FDA here or by calling 800-FDA-1088.

We reported in March about Hydroxycut’s potential risks to the liver and we have long warned consumers to stay away from supplements marketed for weight loss. Manufacturers don’t have to prove to the FDA that these types of products are safe or effective before coming to market and, as in this case, the risks may not emerge until many people have already taken them. Also in March, the FDA found 72 weight-loss products to be tainted with potentially dangerous prescription-drug ingredients.

Jamie Kopf Hirsh, associate editor

Read more about this recall on our Safety blog.

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