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Hydroxycut: Weight Loss Supplement Carries Risk of Serious Liver Damage
On May 1, 2009, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it had received 23 reports of people who had used Hydroxycut products and had suffered serious health problems. It warned all users of Hydroxycut products to stop using them immediately, and in its letter to healthcare professionals, it stated that “we believe (Hydroxycut) presents a serious public health risk.”
Hydroxycut is the name of a group of 14 non-prescription products sold as dietary supplements manufactured by Iovate Health Sciences Inc., of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, and its US distributor, Iovate Health Sciences USA Inc. of Blasdell, N.Y Hydroxycut is marketed as a weight loss aid, an energy-enhancer and fat burner, as a diet supplement for low carbohydrate diets, and for promoting fluid loss. Here is a list of the Hydroxycut products that Iovate has withdrawn:
In the face of the FDA’s warning, Iovate has agreed to immediately withdraw all Hydroxycut products from the market.
Users of Hydroxycut have reported jaundice and elevated liver enzymes, which are indicators of possible liver injury. Some users experienced liver damage so severe that they required a liver transplant. The FDA has received one report of the death of a Hydroxycut user due to liver failure.
In all of these cases, the users were using Hydroxycut according to the manufacturer’s instructions, at the dosages recommended on the product label.
Symptoms of liver injury include jaundice, in which the skin and/or the whites of the eyes turn yellow, as well as discolored, dark brown urine. Other symptoms of liver injury include excessive fatigue, weakness, nausea, vomiting, itching, loss of appetite, light-colored stools, and stomach or abdominal pain.
Symptoms may occur while a person is using Hydroxycut. They can also occur over a period of several months after the person has stopped taking it.
Other health problems reported to the FDA by people who had taken Hydroxycut were cardiovascular disorders, seizures, and rhabdomyolysis, a very serious breakdown of muscle tissue that can result in kidney failure.
In its letter to health care professionals, the FDA stated that “we believe (Hydroxycut) presents a serious public health risk.” The full text of the FDA’s letter is published on its web site.
Hydroxycut is manufactured by Iovate Health Sciences Inc., of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, and its US distributor, Iovate Health Sciences USA Inc. of Blasdell, N.Y In the face of the FDA’s warning, Iovate has agreed to immediately withdraw all Hydroxycut products from the market.