[MOL] Herbs Containing Drug Recalled! [02304] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Herbs Containing Drug Recalled!

Wednesday, March 29, 2000
Herbs Containing Drug Recalled

      Two California companies have announced the voluntary recall of two herbal products that were found to contain high levels of a prescription diabetes drug.
       SciQuest Lab Inc. of Brea, Calif., and Diabetic Capital of Alhambra, Calif., announced the recall in statements released by the Food and Drug Administration last week. Dianolyn Capsules, made by Diabetic Capital, and Dimelstat, made by SciQuest, were found to contain "dangerously high" levels of the drug glyburide, according to the federal agency. The announcements warn people with low blood sugar or diabetes that they may face "life threatening complications" if they consume these herbal products.
      Dr. Marian Parrott, vice president of clinical affairs and spokeswoman for the American Diabetes Association, says diabetics should always consult their physicians before trying any herbal therapies. This was, Dr. Parrott tells OnHealth, "a double whammy for anybody with diabetes who purchased these products because not only did they get something useless they also got something harmful."
      Dianolyn is sold nationally and has been promoted in Chinese language radio ads and newspapers. Dimelstat is sold through mail order and is available in some specialty herb stores.
      The FDA's announcement of the voluntary recall came during the same week the prescription diabetes drug Rezulin was pulled from the market only three years after approval because it was linked to severe liver damage and fatalities. And just last month, the FDA issued a warning about five other herbal supplements, some imported from China and some distributed from California, that also were found to contain glyburide. Health officials discovered the problem when a diabetic in California suffered hypoglycemia after consuming the herbs.
      A 1994 federal law allows dietary supplements to be sold without being approved by the FDA. Manufacturers of dietary supplements are not allowed to make specific health claims on their products. For example, a label for an herbal remedy cannot say it "helps treat diabetes," but it could say something vague like "promotes healthy blood sugar levels."
--By Katrina Woznicki

Warmly, lillian
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