Weight loss chocolate recalled for undisclosed drug content

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 26th October 2010

Food and Health Authorities are undertaking a recall of Leptin Weight Loss Chocolate, Sumabe Acai Berry Coffee and Moti Angel Coffee, which were found to contain the prescription drug sibutramine, and were sold to Australian consumers via a number of websites.

Leptin Weight Loss Chocolate, imported from Hong Kong and sold by Emma Vita Pty Ltd via the web, has been recalled immediately by FSANZ. The Emma Vita recall applies only to 75g boxes of 15 individually wrapped chocolates, with a use-by date of 8 July 2012.

Sibutramine, originally developed as an antidepressant but now used as a diet drug due to its associated moderate weight loss, can give some dieters a sense of feeling fuller, more quickly.

Sibutramine was withdrawn from the Australian market on October 9, after a major study found it was associated with a higher rate of cardiovascular events (such as nonfatal heart attack and stroke) in obese and overweight patients taking the drug, compared to those losing weight with diet and exercise alone.

Sibutramine may also cause increased heart rate, palpitations, raised blood pressure, nausea, constipation, insomnia, dizziness, paraesthesia, sweating, headache, anxiety. Sibutramine also interacts with many commonly prescribed medications.

FSANZ has advised Australian doctors to seek information about the use of weight loss products in any person presenting with unexplained cardiovascular symptoms.

FSANZ also advised consumers to cease consumption immediately and return any products to the point of sale, or dispose of them safely out of the reach of children. Consumers should seek medical advice if they are concerned about their previous consumption of these products.