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New Dietary Supplements Linked to 3 Deaths.

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about a new group of dietary supplements, marketed as sleep aids, aphrodisiacs, and muscle builders, that have caused at least 3 deaths and more than 120 severe adverse reactions.

The supplements contain industrial chemicals such as 1,4 butanediol (BD), a substance that was associated with all 3 reported deaths and with dangerously low respiratory rates, unconsciousness, vomiting, and seizures. The toxic effects are worsened by concomitant use of alcohol or other drugs, according to a statement issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA has declared that BD is a class I health hazard and poses a potentially life-threatening risk.

BD is a chemical precursor of gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), both of which are illegal to manufacture or market in the United States.

The FDA has conducted seizures of these chemicals and has issued several warnings urging consumers not to purchase products marketed as sleep aids unless they are FDA-approved.

After an FDA warning about GBL was issued in January, three companies whose products contained the chemical agreed to recall their products; four other companies face litigation.

Health authorities believe that some manufacturers are currently attempting to circumvent the FDA crackdown on GBL by replacing it with 1,4 butanediol in their products.

But the new supplements, containing BD and other chemicals, are just as dangerous as GBL, according to the FDA. The products continue to be advertised on the Internet, in muscle-building magazines, and in health food stores.

Some of the brand names under which the supplements are sold include Revitalize Plus, Serenity, Enliven, GHRE, SomatoPro, NRG3, Thunder Nectar, and Weight Belt Cleaner. The labels may list ingredients such as 1,4 butanediol, tetramethylene glycol, or 2(3H)-Furanone dihydro.

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Title Annotation:some brand names are Revitalize Plus, Serenity, Enliven, GHRE, SomatoPro, NRG3, Thunder Nectar, and Weight Belt Cleanser; supplements containing 1,4 butanediol associated with severe adverse reactions and death
Author:LINDSAY, HEATHER
Publication:Family Practice News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 1999
Words:297
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