The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers not to purchase or use “Japan Rapid Weight Loss Diet Pills Green.” This product is used for weight loss and sold on various websites, such as Amazon.com and distributed by Xiushentang.
According to the FDA website, a laboratory analysis confirmed that “Japan Rapid Weight Loss Diet Pills Green” contains undeclared phenolphthalein.
According to the Britannica, Phenolphthalein is a potent laxative, which acts within 6–8 hours; its effects may last 3–4 days. Such adverse reactions as kidney irritation or skin rash may occur. As an indicator of the pH of a solution, it is colorless below pH 8.0 and attains a deep red hue above pH10.0.
It was discovered in 1871 by the German chemist Adolf von Baeyer, who prepared it by fusing phenol and ophthalmic anhydride in the presence of sulfuric acid or zinc chloride. This is a solution used in chemical experiments and is also suspect of causing cancer.
It is not approved for marketing in the United States. The FDA has classified phenolphthalein as “not generally recognized as safe and effective. It has also been found to be genotoxic, meaning that it can damage or cause mutation to DNA.
Another notice has been issued for “Japan Rapid Weight Loss Diet Pill Yellow” because it contains phenolphthalein as well as sibutramine, a weight loss agent found in the drug Meridia. It was removed from the market in 2010 because it boosted the risk of heart attack and stroke.
A third product, “Japan Weight Loss Blue” contains sibutramine and ephedrine alkaloids. Products containing ephedra have been banned because they can boost blood pressure to risky levels.The pills are packaged in three colors: green, yellow and blue. If you have purchased the product, stop using immediately and throw them away.
The agency said the dangerous weight loss pills are part of an emerging trend in which companies sell products purporting to be dietary supplements but which contain hidden ingredients that can be harmful.
If you have experienced any negative side effects you should consult a health care professional immediately. It is encouraged for healthcare professionals and patients to report adverse events or side effects related to the product to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adeverse Event Reporting Program.
Go to the FDA’s website to complete the report: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm