FDA Warns These 20+ Arthritis Meds Could Cause "Serious Side Effects"
The agency has flagged several pain medications being sold with hidden ingredients.
Arthritis is something tens of millions of people in the U.S. suffer with on a daily basis. For these individuals, over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications can make all the difference. But you may want to be more cautious going forward if you're someone who uses these kinds of drugs to soothe your aching joints. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now warning that certain remedies being sold to consumers could cause "serious side effects." Read on to find out why over 20 arthritis meds have been flagged by the agency.
The FDA warns consumers about tainted medications.
The ability to trust that OTC medications being sold are safe is vital for consumers. Unfortunately, "health scammers prey on people's desire for quick and easy solutions to challenging health problems," according to the FDA.
To help combat this, the agency strives to keep people informed about medication health fraud, which includes "the marketing of medication products with unproven, false, or misleading claims about those products' ability to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent diseases or conditions."
A major part of the FDA's work has been focused around finding tainted medications that are already on the market. The agency says its testing has "identified products promoted for sexual enhancement, weight loss, body building, arthritis/pain, or use as sleep aid that contain hidden drug ingredients."
More than 20 arthritis meds have been flagged by the agency.
In new public notifications for health fraud, the FDA is warning consumers that it has identified multiple tainted arthritis medications being sold.
"Certain products promoted for arthritis and pain management have been found to contain hidden ingredients and may pose a significant health risk," the agency stated.
Through 10 years of extensive testing, the FDA has flagged a total of 22 arthritis meds. Back in 2013, the first arthritis medication the agency warned about was called Ortiga, which was "an unapproved product promoted for a variety of health conditions."
But in two separate warnings issued on Sept. 29, the agency advised consumers not to purchase or use Reumo Flex or Kuka Flex Forte—two products that it says are being "promoted and sold for joint pain and arthritis."
These products can cause "serious side effects."
The 22 arthritis medications were found to contain active drug ingredients that were not listed on their product labels, according to the FDA. As a result, "these products may cause potentially serious side effects and may interact with medications or dietary supplements a consumer is taking," the agency said, urging consumers to take caution.
Some of the OTC meds were found to use hidden ingredients found in prescription and other OTC drugs. For example, both Reumo Flex and Kuka Flex Forte—along with many of the other flagged meds—were determined to contain diclofenac, a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (or NSAID), according to the FDA.
"NSAIDs may cause increased risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, as well as serious gastrointestinal damage, including bleeding, ulceration, and fatal perforation of the stomach and intestines," the agency said. "This hidden drug ingredient may also interact with other medications and significantly increase the risk of adverse events, particularly when consumers use multiple NSAID-containing products."
But these are not the only meds you need to watch out for.
The FDA is not able to test all products on the market for potentially harmful hidden ingredients. With that in mind, the agency also warns that these 22 arthritis meds may only represent a "small fraction of the potentially dangerous products marketed to consumers online and in stores."
"It is clear from the results of our decade of testing that retailers and distributors, including online marketplaces, do not effectively prevent these types of potentially harmful products from being sold to consumers," the FDA stated. "Even if a product is not included in this list, consumers should exercise caution before using these types of arthritis and pain management products."
- Source: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/medication-health-fraud/medication-health-fraud-questions-and-answers
- Source: https://www.fda.gov/consumers/health-fraud-scams/public-notifications-health-fraud
- Source: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/buying-using-medicine-safely/medication-health-fraud
- Source: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/medication-health-fraud/tainted-arthritis-pain-products
- Source: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/medication-health-fraud/public-notification-ortiga-contains-hidden-drug-ingredient
- Source: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/medication-health-fraud/reumo-flex-contains-hidden-drug-ingredient
- Source: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/medication-health-fraud/kuka-flex-forte-contains-hidden-drug-ingredient