The FDA has just issued a warning on a fat burning supplement called OxyElite Pro after 29 people in Hawaii were stricken with hepatitis, which is inflammation of the liver. According to USA Today on Oct. 8, one person has died and two people had a liver transplant which seems to be linked to this product. Eleven other people had been hospitalized with these symptoms.
OxyElite Pro has been pulled from store shelves while an investigation by Hawaii’s health department is in place. Patients were said to develop symptoms of hepatitis after reportedly using this product in the last six months. This weight loss supplement is sold nationwide. However, the sicknesses have been confined to Hawaii for now.
"We're calling for stores to voluntary remove this product from their shelves," Janice Okubo, a public information officer with Hawaii’s health department, stated
Only a handful of FDA advisors are working on the investigation because of the government shutdown in which hundreds are still on furlough. However, these particular cases are on their high priority list.
The company released a statement on Tuesday saying that they stand behind the safety of their products and are mystified by the outbreak of liver issues in Hawaii. They are cooperating with the FDA and as a cautionary measure, they have ceased domestic distribution of OxyElite Pro with the Purple Top and OxyElite Pro Super Thermo Powder until the investigation into the case is finished.
The original OxyElite Pro products contained DMAA, a stimulant that was thought to cause heart attacks, but they had ceased making that version earlier this year after the FDA put out warning letters. The company also said that the FDA had been informed that the they believed there were counterfeit versions of OxyElite Pro being marketed in the United States. However, that has not been confirmed.
If you have any of the OxyElite Pro products at home, it is advised not to use them. Meanwhile, the CDC and the Hawaii Department of Health are working together to identify the source of this scary outbreak.