[7-9-2018] The Food and Drug Administration is advising consumers not to purchase or use Asunsa, a product promoted for weight loss. This product was identified during an examination of international mail shipments.
FDA laboratory analysis confirmed that Asunsa contains sibutramine, N-desmethylsibutramine, benzylsibutramine, phenolphthalein and diclofenac.
Sibutramine is a controlled substance that was removed from the market in October 2010 for safety reasons. N-desmethylsibutramine and benzylsibutramine are substances structurally similar to sibutramine. This product poses a threat to consumers because sibutramine is known to substantially increase blood pressure and/or heart rate in some people and may present a significant risk for people 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.
Phenolphthalein is a chemical that is not an active ingredient in any approved drug in the United States. Studies have indicated that it may increase the risk of cancer.
Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (commonly referred to as NSAIDs). NSAIDs may cause increased risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, as well as serious gastrointestinal damage, including bleeding, ulceration, and fatal perforation of the stomach and intestines. This hidden drug ingredient may also interact with other medications and significantly increase the risk of adverse events, particularly when consumers use multiple NSAID-containing products.
Health care professionals and patients should report adverse events or side effects related to the use of this product to FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:
- Complete and submit the report online MedWatch Online Voluntary Reporting Form, or:
- Download and complete the form, then submit it via fax at 1-800-FDA-0178.
Note: This notification is to inform the public of a growing trend of 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.
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