A new study out of Hong Kong has determined that 61 of the 81 herbal diet supplements tested contained two or more pharmaceutical agents. Hospital researchers analyzed 81 supplements that had been taken by patients admitted for poisoning. Substances in the herbal remedies included Sibutramine (Merida), which has recently been removed from the market in the U.S., and Fenfluramine, which was pulled from U.S. markets in 1997.
The study echoes concerns published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which has issued announcements warning that up to 72 weight loss supplements on the market contain undeclared pharmaceuticals. The concern is even greater for patients taking weight loss supplements along with physician prescribed pharmaceuticals because interactions and risk factors are extremely difficult to predict.