Consumer alert: Prostate herbals contain prescription drugs says the US FDA

February 19, 2002 in Men's Health, Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Consumer alert: Prostate herbals contain prescription drugs says the US FDA

Customers should stop taking two dietary supplements that claim to promote prostate health, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns, because they contain prescription ingredients that could cause serious side effects.

The FDA said one supplement, PC SPES, contained the prescription anti-blood clotting drug warfarin while the other, SPES, was found to contain the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam. The California Department of Health Services discovered both prescription ingredients through a laboratory analysis. The FDA added that consumers should avoid taking the capsules because they could "cause serious health effects if not taken under medical supervision."

BotanicLab of Brea, California, is the manufacturer of both herbal products. BotanicLab asserts that the California Department of Health mistook the naturally occurring compound coumarin for the synthetic compound warfarin. Coumarin, occurs naturally in 300 plants.

Warfarin has been associated with serious cases of hemorrhaging and liver damage. Side effects associated with alprazolam include liver damage, dangerously low blood pressure and severe drowsiness.

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