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Two Brazilian diet supplements contaminated with drugs.

Two popular diet pills from Brazil that are being marketed as natural dietary supplements may be laced with prescription and controlled substances, according to a warning being issued by the Food and Drug Administration.

Tests of the two dietary supplements, Emagrece Sim and Herbathin, show that they can contain chlordiazepoxide (the active ingredient in Librium), fluoxetine (Prozac), and fenproporex, an unapproved stimulant that the body converts to amphetamine.

Chlordiazepoxide may be habit forming and may cause dizziness and drowsiness, and fluoxetine has been linked to several serious drug interactions, as well as, possibly, suicidality, according to an FDA press release.

Both products are made by Brazilian firms, Fitoterapicos and Phytotherm Sim, and the FDA has stepped up efforts to prevent their importation. However, there may be knock-offs with the same or similar names that are made by other manufacturers.

The products are sold over the Internet, and they are not cheap, costing between $140 and $230 for 1 month's supply.

The Miami Herald began reporting on the supplements in October because two companies that import the products are based in Miami. The newspaper has reported that a number of users of the supplements have failed employment and military drug tests.

The newspaper has also reported that some users say they lost significant amounts of weight while taking these products.

The FDA is advising physicians to tell patients to stop using the supplements and dispose of them.

Any adverse events should be reported to the agency's MedWatch program.

BY TIMOTHY F. KIRN

Sacramento Bureau
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Author:Kirn, Timothy F.
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 15, 2006
Words:253
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