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Are Dietary Supplements Dangerous?

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 14-Aug-2017

A new study published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology claims calls to poison control centers involving dietary supplements increased by almost 50 percent between 2005 and 2012. Every 24 minutes on average, poison control centers receive phone calls involving adverse reactions to these products.

Dietary supplements are products that may contain herbs, minerals, vitamins, botanicals, amino acids, metabolites or extracts of active ingredients. However, these products do not receive the same type of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight as prescription medications or medical devices. Clinical trials are not required for these products because they are not intended to treat or prevent medical conditions. Relaxed oversight means that some of these products may be dangerous.

There are recent examples of dietary supplements or homeopathic products causing deaths and adverse outcomes. For example, Hyland’s homeopathic teething product was recalled after the FDA received reports of deaths and adverse events. This product contained varying amounts of belladonna alkaloids, also known as deadly nightshade.

Some dietary supplements can be spiked with harmful substances. In 2016, more than a dozen bodybuilding and weight loss supplements sold in the U.S. were found to contain oxilofrine, a stimulant linked to cardiac arrest.

The Journal of Medical Toxicology study also identified energy drinks as products responsible for poison control center calls and adverse effects. In the U.S., the energy drink market is worth billions of dollars. However, several product liability lawsuits have linked energy drinks to kidney failure, heart attacks and strokes.

Are Dietary Supplement Manufacturers Liable for Injuries or Deaths?

Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to hold dietary supplement or energy drink manufacturers accountable for injurie or deaths. If you or a loved one suffered harm while using one of these products, the Washington DC product liability attorneys at Regan Zambri Long, PLLC can help determine whether you could file a lawsuit.

Categories: Product Liability
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