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Jamie Sheller
Jamie Sheller
Attorney • (800) 883-2299

Homeopathic or “Natural” Remedies Carry Risks

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Several recent recalls illustrate the dangers that can be posed by homeopathic or "natural" health remedies, which generally aren’t required to go through the same kind of FDA-approval process as prescription drugs. Often, people mistakenly believe that products labeled homeopathic or "natural" are automatically safe.

In May 2009, Hydroxycut dietary products were recalled from the market after the products were linked to liver damage. Hydroxycut products are used for weight loss, as energy enhancers and fat burners. Iovate Health Sciences Inc. marketed Hydroxycut, and the products were widely distributed in grocery stores, health food stores and pharmacies. At the time of the recall, the FDA recommended that people immediately stop using Hydroxycut products.

In June 2009, consumers and doctors were notified by the FDA and Hi Tech Pharmaceuticals that Stamina Rx products were recalled. Stamina Rx was sold nationwide in health food stores and drug stores, and was marketed as a natural male enhancement product. The FDA determined that Stamina Rx contained an undeclared ingredient – the drug benzamidenafil, which is in the same class of drugs as some that are FDA-approved to treat erectile dysfunction. Benzamidenafil is not FDA-approved, and may interact dangerously with some other drugs and cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure. Consumers are urged to stop using Stamina Rx products immediately.

Another recent homeopathic remedy recall involved Zicam. Some Zicam nasal cold remedies were recalled by Matrixx Initiatives in June 2009, after the FDA warned that the products were unsafe. The FDA issued its warning about Zicam after hundres of reports that people lost their sense of smell after using Zicam. According to the FDA, Zicam products were also unlawfully marketed. Over the past several years, Matrixx, the maker of Zicam, has settled hundres of lawsuits regarding Zicam. Matrixx is also being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For over 25 years, Sheller P.C. has aggressively represented individuals and classes of individuals who have been injured by defective products, including pharmaceuticals and medical devices. We also represent those who have suffered injuries due to other causes, such as inadequate medical treatment , improper business practices, or accidents.

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  1. L. Mclean says:
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    Zicam is not really a homeopathic product. Everyone seems to be confused and in error about this. The Zinc gluconate is at a 2x potency which is almost a material dose of Zinc gluconate whereas normally homeopathic medicine is much more dilute. 2x means that the zinc gluconate has had 9 drops added to it and then shaken (succussed). Then one drop of that has had a further 9 drops added and shaken. It has only been diluted/potentised twice and at 1 to 9 (i.e. the decimal potency, rather than the centesimal potency – 1 to 100 normally used for homeopathic preparations).

    So yes, people were sniffing zinc gluconate in a fairly undiluted form which would possibly cause harm.

    Normally homeopathic products are at least a 6x potency. Bach flower essences (i.e. Rescue Remedy, etc.) are all 5x potencies but they are made from flower essences and so fairly harmless.

    There is also the ‘c’ or centesimal potency which is considered standard homeopathy which has been diluted and shaken (potentised) 1 to 99 drops.