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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Drugs

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Public Notification: “Strawberry Balance” Contains Hidden Drug Ingredient

[6-27-2013] The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers not to purchase or use “Strawberry Balance,” a product for weight loss sold on various websites and some retail stores.

FDA laboratory analysis confirmed that “Strawberry Balance” contains sibutramine.  Sibutramine is a controlled substance that was removed from the market in October 2010 for safety reasons.  The product poses a threat to consumers because sibutramine is known to substantially increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some patients and may present a significant risk for patients with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias or stroke.  This product may also interact in life-threatening ways with other medications a consumer may be taking.

Laboratory analysis also confirmed that “Strawberry Balance” contains phenolphthalein.  Phenolphthalein was an ingredient in some over-the-counter (OTC) laxative products until 1999 when FDA reclassified the ingredient as “not generally recognized as safe and effective.”

Consumers should stop using this product immediately and throw it away.  Consumers who have experienced any negative side effects should consult a health care professional as soon as possible. 

Health care professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

Note: This notification is to inform the public of a growing trend of products marketed as dietary supplements or conventional foods with hidden drugs and chemicals.  These products are typically promoted for sexual enhancement, weight loss, and body building, and are often represented as being “all natural.”  FDA is unable to test and identify all products marketed as dietary supplements that have potentially harmful hidden ingredients.  Consumers should exercise caution before purchasing any product in the above categories.

Please refer to the links below for more information:

 Strawberry Balance Strawberry Balance
 Strawberry Balance Strawberry Balance

 

 

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