Weight-loss medications like Fenproporex (an amphetamine), Furosemide (a diuretic) and Sibutramine (an appetite suppressant) are purchased each day across the world. The dieting industry is a multi-billion dollar cash cow. The previous three ingredients are typically found in products sold as weight-loss pills. Unfortunately none of these were listed as ingredients and are no longer approved by the FDA for use in weight-loss medications. Any company can label weight-loss without proof that it is safe or works.
Federal Drug Administration (FDA) Involvement
There is no law in the United States that any agency has to approve supplements. Therefore, its goes back to the old shopping rule, “buyer beware.” Over-the-Counter (OTC) and prescribed medicines must go through a rigorous testing process to be approved for use. In many instances, OTC approval is granted after being prescribed for many years.
The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994
This act stated that any company selling a product in the classification of a dietary supplement does not have to register with the FDA and are not required to show proof of their product. The FDA will only become involved if the product is continually causing harm. Customer complaints are the trigger for these types of investigations.
Customers should always be careful when taking pills as a diet supplement. Although many celebrities, sports icons and tapout models claim to take specific supplements, they can still be harmful. It was uncovered that nearly 100 dietary supplements did not list ingredients. Since there is a lack of regulation, these products could contain a much higher dosage than what was originally listed.
Interactions among Other Drugs
In addition to the potential for contamination and incorrect ingredient listing, when taking dietary supplements there is the risk of harmful interactions with other drugs you are taking. Some supplements trigger bleeding or increase tolerance to anesthesia.