The package for the weight-loss pill Dexaprine leads users to believe it is fueled by natural ingredients. To the contrary, researchers have found the supplement contains a variety of stimulants.
A samples of the natural ingredients listed on the label include:
- Acacia rigidula
- Citrus aurantium
- Green tea extract
A Dutch lab studied packages of the pills and found them to actually contain a “cocktail of synthetic stimulants” that are not listed as ingredients on the label. Those stimulants include a synthetic amphetamine-like compound and deteronol – a substance which hasn’t been studied for its effects on humans.
Dexaprine and Dexaprine XR are sold by iForce Nutrition, a California company. In 2011, iForce pled guilty to manufacturing supplements containing synthetic steroids, with regard to a different product.
Dutch Consumers Fall Ill
The issue was discovered when Dutch Dexaprine users developed health problems including nausea, vomiting, agitation, palpitations, increased heart rates, and chest pain. Some patients had to be hospitalized and there was at least one incident of cardiac arrest. The Dutch Poisons Information Center received reports that some patients experienced these adverse effects after taking as little as half of a tablet.
Doctors in The Netherlands sent in remaining tablets from the packages the affected patients had consumed. The results of the tests on those supplements were published in the May 6, 2014, issue of the journal Drug Testing and Analysis.
After these problems surfaced, Netherlands officials issued a health alert about Dexaprine. Dutch government officials also pulled the product from the market. A spokesman for the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment told USA Today:
“I think the point is that we can’t be sure of what’s really in these dietary supplements until we test them in the lab.”
In August 2013, the UK joined Dutch authorities in banning the sale of Dexaprine; the UK later reversed the ban after learning that the company had formulated a revised product for the UK market without the medicinal ingredients.
The two weight loss products are still sold in the United States, via marketplaces like Amazon.com. So far, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not announced any steps to recall the product here.