Reports Made To The FDA Have Involved Hepatitis, Liver Failure, Liver Transplant, And Death
(Posted by Tom Lamb at DrugInjuryWatch.com)
On May 1, 2009 the FDA warned people to stop using Hydroxycut products -- made by Iovate Health Sciences Inc., of Oakville, Ontario and distributed by Iovate Health Sciences USA Inc. of Blasdell, N.Y. -- due to the fact that some Hydroxycut products are associated with a number of serious liver injuries. Furthermore, the manufacturer, Iovate, has agreed to immediately recall Hydroxycut products from the U.S. market.
The list of Hydroxycut products being recalled by Iovate currently includes:
Hydroxycut Regular Rapid Release Caplets
Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Rapid Release Caplets
Hydroxycut Hardcore Liquid Caplets
Hydroxycut Max Liquid Caplets
Hydroxycut Regular Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Hardcore Drink Packets (Ignition Stix)
Hydroxycut Max Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Liquid Shots
Hydroxycut Hardcore RTDs (Ready-to-Drink)
Hydroxycut Max Aqua Shed
Hydroxycut Carb Control
The FDA's reasoning for this May 2009 recall of Hydroxycut products can be found in a Health Hazard Evaluation Board document entitled "The Problem: Liver toxicity following consumption of dietary supplement, Hydroxycut". From the Conclusion section of this Health Hazard Evaluation document:
Three lines of evidence derived from multiple disparate sources suggest it is very likely that exposure to Hydroxycut can cause idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity. First, many of the subjects described in the adverse event reports to CAERS, in the peer-reviewed literature, and in the case series described by hepatologists reported no history of liver disease or risk factors for liver disease (e.g., alcohol consumption, previous viral infection, hereditary factors, etc.) prior to experiencing liver injury following the ingestion of Hydroxycut. Second, in many subjects, thorough diagnostic evaluations performed in multiple settings ruled out a number of known causes of liver disease, including viral hepatitis, autoimmune diseases, and metabolic/inherited disorders. Third, prompt resolution of liver disease occurred in a number of patients following cessation of Hydroxycut ingestion.
In a Consumer Advisory, "FDA Warns Consumers Not to Use Dietary Supplements Labeled Hydroxycut because of the Potential Risk of Severe Liver Injury", the FDA provides the following medical information:
Consumers who use a Hydroxycut dietary supplement and who experience signs of illness associated with liver disease should immediately consult their health care provider. Symptoms of serious liver disease include jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes) and brown urine. Non-specific symptoms of liver disease can include nausea, vomiting, light-colored stools, unusual tiredness, weakness, stomach or abdominal pain, itching, and loss of appetite. FDA has also identified several other serious adverse events associated with Hydroxycut, including cases of seizures, rhabdomyolysis (a type of muscle damage that can lead to other dangerous problems, such as kidney failure), and cardiovascular problems, ranging in severity from irregular heart beat to a heart attack. [bold in original]
The FDA -- as opposed to Iovate, the manufacturer of Hydroxycut products --has issued a "Dear Doctor" letter to healthcare providers in the U.S.
In addition, the FDA has put on its web site a Consumer Questions and Answers document regarding this Hydroxycut recall.
In closing, the FDA has stated that it will continue to investigate the relationship between the use of Hydroxycut dietary supplements and liver injury.
If you are aware of any case of liver damage caused by the use of Hydroxycut products, please consider sharing that information with us by submitting a Comment, below.
P.S. North of FDA-land, Health Canada says it will continue to monitor adverse reaction reports associated with Hydroxycut products, and will provide Canadians with any new safety information.
Health Canada has received 17 domestic adverse reaction (AR) reports associated with Hydroxycut products in Canada. These adverse reactions relate to the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological systems. None of the adverse reactions reported in Canada relate to liver injury.
It will be interesting to see if Health Canada follows the lead of our FDA and issue a Hydroxycut recall in Canada. (5/4/09)
P.S. On May 7, 2009 the FDA announced that Iovate Health Sciences USA, Inc. has provided Universal Product Codes (UPCs) for its products that were part of the May 1 Hydroxycut recall. (5/8/09)