We’ve been looking for a way out of this nightmare pandemic for months now. Thankfully, COVID vaccines are finally approved and making their way across the U.S. as we speak.
But with this new hope comes opportunity for scammers. The Better Business Bureau is warning of a handful of COVID-19 vaccine-related scams that are already making the rounds. Tap or click here to find out what to watch for.
On top of scams like those, we now have another thing to worry about regarding medications and supplements. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently looked into supplements being sold on Amazon and eBay and found many were tainted. Keep reading for a list of known problem supplements.
Those supplements might not be what you bargained for
You might want to double-check the ingredients listed in your dietary supplements. The FDA discovered many supplements sold on Amazon or eBay contain an extensive list of potentially harmful substances.
Through an online shopping experiment, the FDA identified over 50 supplements that contain harmful ingredients. As a result, it found some of the chemicals are not even listed on the packaging or missing from the leaflets. You can read the FDA’s public notices on harmful products here.
Because of this, many consumers are buying over-the-counter or online supplements without knowing what they contain.
Affected weight loss products
Hidden ingredients are increasingly becoming a problem in products promoted for weight loss. In its latest public notice, the FDA said, “Consumers may unknowingly take products laced with varying quantities of approved prescription drug ingredients, controlled substances, and untested and unstudied pharmaceutically active ingredients.”
The weight loss supplements identified by the FDA are:
- Super Slim
- Lishou Slimming Coffee
- Li Da Daidaihua Plus
- Imperla Elita Vitaccino
- Fruta Planta
- Fruta Bio
- Burn 7
- Body Shape Weight Loss System
Super Slim and Lishou Slimming Coffee, both sold on eBay, contain sibutramine and desmethyl sibutramine. According to the FDA, sibutramine is a controlled substance that was removed from the market in 2010. It caused severe issues for people with cardiovascular diseases. Similarly, desmethyl sibutramine can substantially increase your blood pressure.
The FDA also pointed out the Li Da Daidaihua Plus supplement contains phenolphthalein, which has been shown to cause cancer. Phenolphthalein is not an active ingredient in any approved drug, the FDA added.
If you use any of the products listed by the FDA as being harmful, you should stop taking them immediately. If you experience any side effects or adverse reactions, you should file a report on the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting website.
Tainted sexual enhancement products
Weight loss supplements are not the only products that contain harmful elements. Some of the sexual enhancement products identified by the FDA to contain hidden drug ingredients are:
- White Panther
- Triple Wicked Platinum
- The Super Panther 77k
- Royal Honey
- PremierZen Gold 7000
- PremierZen Platinum 8000
- Premier maxxzen Platinum 12000
- Poseidon Platinum 10000
- Poseidon Platinum 3500
- Mero Macho
- Gold Lion
- Blue Panther Extreme 75k
- Black Stallion 9000
- Triple SupremeZen Plus 3500 and SupremeZen Gold 3500
- Triple SupremeZen Extreme 3500
- Thumbs Up 7 White 11K and 7 Red 70K
- Thumbs Up 7 Blue 69K and Thumbs Up 7 Black 25K
- Shogun-X Platinum 7000
In the tests, 26 of the products were found on eBay, and 20 on Amazon. Several of the sexual enhancement products contained the active ingredient in Viagra or the generic versions of tadalafil and vardenafil. They can only be prescribed by a healthcare professional, as they are classified as controlled substances.
In many cases, the products should only be taken under medical supervision and should not be sold online.
What the FDA is doing about it
As mentioned, you should immediately stop taking any supplements listed and report any adverse effects to the FDA.
“While the FDA has engaged in discussions with online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay regarding these issues in the past, we believe they can do more to protect consumers from these fraudulent and potentially dangerous products,” explained Donald D. Ashley, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
eBay has already issued a response to the warnings. It said that it would be going through its listings to remove all the products in question due to the FDA’s public notices.