HEALTH

FDA Warns about Weight Loss Pill

The Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to use a weight-loss product marketed to the Hispanic community – it was available with Spanish-language labeling and recently distributed at a Latino festival in Chicago.

Slimming Beauty Bitter Orange Capsules, readily available on the Internet, are billed as a capsules that “removes hunger and burns grease.” The label classifies the product as an herb that has no side effects. However, the FDA said one of its ingredients is a stimulant, and dangerous for people with cardiovascular disease because it can lead to elevated blood pressure, stroke and heart attack.

Slimming Beauty is being sold over the Internet by Beautiful Health Inc., formerly LL Health and Beauty.

A woman who answered the phone at Slimming Beauty said the company had shut down because the owner, who she would only identify as Lucy, was gravely ill. The woman, who would not identify herself, said she was hired by the company to speak to Spanish-speaking clients, and could not provide any more information about the company.

The FDA says the pills contain sibutramine, a powerful stimulant that should not be used without a prescription because it poses safety risks. Sample of Slimming Beauty were given out at the 40th Annual Mexican Independence Day Parade in Chicago last month.

“Consumers who are otherwise healthy and who take the amount of sibutramine found in Slimming Beauty capsules can experience anxiety, nausea, heart palpitations, a racing heart, insomnia, and elevated blood pressure,” the FDA says. “Sibutramine also may interact with other medications and can cause serious side effects.”