Concern over use of illegal weight loss supplements in Australia

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 7th November 2011

Australia’s regulatory authority for therapeutic goods, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is warning consumers of concerns about some ingredients in a dietary supplement available on the internet. The TGA claims that some such ingredients have previously been banned from being sold in Australia due to safety concerns.

In a statement released today, the TGA has named ‘Reduce Weight Fruta Planta’ capsules as the subject of the warning.

The TGA claims its analysis of the product has “confirmed the presence of therapeutic quantities of sibutramine (an appetite suppressant) and phenolphthalein (a chemical compound used as a laxative) in the capsules”.

In its statement, the TGA said, “Consumers are advised that sibutramine was a prescription-only medicine supplied in Australia until it was withdrawn in October 2010 due to safety concerns, particularly in patients with a history of cardiovascular disease. Phenolphthalein is no longer available in Australia because of serious safety concerns associated with its long term use.”

The TGA said the product has not been assessed for quality, safety or efficacy as required under Australian legislation, and the premises from which the product is manufactured was not approved by the TGA.