December 2013

FDA: Weight Loss Products Contain Hidden Drug Ingredients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued several public notifications regarding products that have been found to contain hidden ingredients.

The products include Slim Max, Diet Master, Super Slim, Body Beauty 5 Days Slimming Coffee, 1 Day Diet, and SlimExtra Herbal Capsules. All of the products are marketed, promoted, and sold for weight loss.

Slim Max, Diet Master, and Super Slim have all been found to contain the undeclared ingredient phenolphthalein. Phenolphthalein was an ingredient in some laxatives, but was reclassified by the FDA as "not generally recognized as safe and effective" in 1999.

Laboratory analysis confirmed that Slim Max, Diet Master, Super Slim, Body Beauty 5 Days Slimming Coffee, 1 Day Diet, and SlimExtra Herbal Capsules all contain the hidden ingredient sibutramine. This controlled substance was removed from the market due to safety concerns in October 2010.

These products pose a potential health threat because sibutramine may significantly increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some people. Sibutramine may also pose a significant risk for those with a history of coronary artery disease, heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms, or stroke, and may interact in dangerous ways with other medications that a consumer may be taking.

The FDA advises that anyone in possession of these products should stop using them immediately and throw them away. Those who have experienced negative side effects associated with the use of these products are advised to speak to a healthcare professional immediately. Any adverse events or side effects should be reported to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.


  1. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.
  2. US Food and Drug Administration.

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