Indianapolis residents hoping to lose weight may be in danger because of common diet supplements sold in health food and vitamin stores. The Food and Drug Administration reports that weight-loss capsules called StarCaps could be hazardous to the health of many in Indiana and around the country. Made primarily of papaya, the capsules also contained a potent pharmaceutical drug called bumetanide and can have serious side effects.
Undeclared drugs could cause problems like elevated blood pressure or seizures, could have toxic interactions with other medications and could make it difficult for physicians to diagnose patients.
Unfortunately, StarCaps are not the only culprits. In a continuing investigation that has prompted consumer warnings and recalls by some distributors, the F.D.A. has determined that dozens of weight-loss supplements, most of them imported from China, contain hidden and potentially harmful drugs.
Besides StarCaps, the agency’s warning list includes at least 69 other pills sold under the names Sliminate, Superslim and Slim Up, among many others. If a weight-loss supplement does contain an undeclared active pharmaceutical, the F.D.A. considers the product to be an illegal, unapproved drug.
A full list of the tainted pills and other details are available on the F.D.A.’s Web site, www.fda.gov.
Anyone who wants to report problems with the pills should call 1-800-FDA-1088.