Hydroxycut products recalled

May 2nd, 2009  |  Published in Stumpblog  |  6 Comments

Via Reuters:

The maker of the widely sold Hydroxycut weight-loss supplements is recalling 14 products after reports of liver damage and one death, U.S. health officials said on Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration urged consumers to immediately stop using the recalled products, which are made by Iovate Health Sciences Inc and marketed for weight loss, boosting energy and other uses.

The agency has received 23 reports of liver problems ranging from jaundice to damage that required a liver transplant, Katz said. One person died.

Other reports also documented seizures, cardiovascular disorders and rhabdomyolysis, a type of muscle damage that can lead to kidney failure, the FDA said.

The company agreed to voluntarily pull the 14 products even though the FDA has not seen reports of serious harm with all of them, Katz said. Agency officials are investigating which doses and ingredients may be harmful, she said.

Two products with different ingredients, Hydroxycut Cleanse and Hoodia, were not included in the recall.

The recalled products contain a variety of ingredients including herbal extracts. They are sold as dietary supplements, which do not require the evidence of safety and effectiveness needed for medicines before they can be sold.

People who took the recalled products should consult a doctor if they have symptoms of liver injury such as nausea, vomiting, light-colored stools, excessive fatigue, weakness, stomach pain, itching or loss of appetite, the FDA said.

Full story


  1. chris says:

    May 2nd, 2009at 7:08 pm(#)

    So when are they recalling alcohol?

  2. Elizabeth says:

    May 3rd, 2009at 9:25 am(#)

    Someone posted the ingredients list for this on the Consumerist story the other day, and I’m having a hard time figuring out what might be causing the liver damage. Salicylic acid? Hydroxycitric acid?

    Or did they do that thing where, since none of their herbal extracts actually work, they secretly mixed in some drugs that do?

  3. felipe says:

    May 3rd, 2009at 9:59 am(#)

    Yay. Not that people were hurt or died, but that more snake-oil is being recalled.

  4. Paul says:

    May 3rd, 2009at 10:29 am(#)

    Why are we not focusing on the real story – the FDA is telling people to stop using products for which no causal relationship between the product and the symptoms/illness has been shown. They don’t even know which substance in the product is causing the problem!

  5. Trishy says:

    May 3rd, 2009at 11:55 am(#)

    None of this would be necessary if the FDA stopped passing the damn buck on “dietary supplements” and actually regulated things that people can reasonably be expected to consume. I know the agency is grossly understaffed and underfunded right now, but if a product for consumption isn’t proven to be safe to consume as directed, can’t it just not be put on the shelves? Seems like a simple solution to me.

  6. felipe says:

    May 4th, 2009at 5:15 am(#)

    The FDA doesn’t have that jurisdiction any more for supplements, unless there has been suits or complaints. I agree that the FDA should look at supplements, but now they can only act retroactively. Blame congress, not the FDA.

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