More Dodgy Pills

December 24, 2008 at 7:19 pm (Alternative Medicine, Dangerously Wrong, Remedies, Supplements, Woo) (, )

Some internet-bought diet pills, unsurpisingly, have turned out to contain potentially dangerous ingredients. I referred to contaminated supplements in my post on Jeremy Piven (although these related to levels of heavy metals in herbal medicines) and now the Daily Mail have printed a story about products “promoted as ‘natural’ fat busters, claiming to be new versions of ancient remedies from Asia”. Linky. The FDA have revealed that these pills may contain high doses of an anti-obesity drug,  sibutramine, (this is reminiscent of the red yeast rice used by some as an alternative to statins that, um, contains lovastatin – see here; also here) and the pills also contain a substance “linked to cancer” (phenolphthalein) as well as having unlisted ingredients. See, if you buy unregulated or poorly regulated medicines, whether conventional or alternative (but especially pills you buy over the internet) you don’t really know what you are getting.


An old blog post: Dodgy supplements for serious diseases. FDA Buying Online form for reporting hucksters.


  1. mrhunnybun said,

    Dodgy indeed. But, at least these pills contain an ingredient that give you some chance of losing weight. Compared to most diet-pills this is a plus. On the other hand phenolphthalein can cause impressive diarrhoea.

    Probably best to get them on prescription and from a reliable source

  2. ALEX said,

    Useful information .Thank you.

  3. Yet More Dodgy Supplements « jdc325’s Weblog said,

    […] food supplements or ayurvedic remedies. Here’s another. I’ve previously written about “natural fat-busters” that contained high doses of an anti-obesity drug, sibutramine, and the FDA has reported here […]

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