Just like the FDA says on its warnings and notifications page (here):  “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. FDA cannot test all products on the market that contain potentially harmful hidden ingredients. Enforcement actions and consumer advisories for tainted products only cover a small fraction of the tainted over-the-counter products on the market.” 

FDA running testing 24/7 could not keep up with all of the testing necessary to ensure consumer’s safety, but when the FDA sniffs out a problem, they are fast to make clear that these unlawful products are dangerous unapproved drugs. In its latest notification, FDA warns about three products targeting arthritis pain relief: 

  • Himalayan Pain Relief Tea contains hidden drug ingredients diclofenac and dexamethasone  
  • Tepee Herbal Tea contains hidden drug ingredient prioxicam 
  • Notoginseng Formula Special Gout Granule contains hidden drug ingredients diclofenac and dexamethasone  

These products promoted as dietary supplements are nothing more than unapproved drug products that can cause serious adverse events and potentially even death. How this stuff gets through the border is beyond me, especially since dietary or food products promoting drug-like claims should always be suspect and be targeted for chemical analysis.  While the FDA does catch many, many simply appear on store shelves, at gas stations, and online. Consumers should be wary of any products that promote drug claims or cures, especially for arthritis, erectile dysfunction, weight loss, or cancer as these appear to be the targets of many of these illegal and dangerous products. Be aware and care! Notify the FDA when you see something that does not look right.