The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers that Vitaccino, a product marketed as a 100% herbal dietary aid, contains the dangerous drug sibutramine, previously sold under the trade name Meridia.
According to the Plain Dealer, the FDA has discovered sibutramine n more than 30 weight loss products since January, 2013. The products included a variety of capsules, powders and other slimming coffee drinks.
Sibutramine was pulled from the market in 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. During one clinical trial, called SCOUT, researchers determined that patients treated with Meridia were 16 percent more likely to suffer from non-fatal heart attack, non-fatal stroke, resuscitation after cardiac arrest and cardiovascular death than patients treated with a placebo.
Vitaccino was sold through a number of online retailers, including Amazon.
The FDA has acknowledged that incidents of illegal or unapproved ingredients being used in dietary supplements like Vitaccino are a growing problem as the products are loosely regulated and do not require FDA approval before being entered into the market.
The following side effects have been linked to sibutramine (Meridia):