Dietary supplements are used by more than half of American adults. The most common reason that people use supplements is to improve or maintain overall health, but some people also use certain dietary supplements as a weight loss tool or to build muscle.
Despite their widespread use, howeve, dietary supplements are not necessarily safe. For instance, OxyElite Pro – a dietary supplement used for weight loss and muscle-building – was recalled after it was linked to dozens of hepatitis and liver failure cases in Hawaii and other states. To date, the product has been linked with 50 cases of liver illness nationwide and more than 20 hospitalizations, in addition to two liver transplants, and one death. Some of the symptoms reported include nausea, fatigue, and yellow eyes.
According to MedPage Today, the percentage of reported cases of liver damage caused by individuals taking dietary and herbal supplements continues to grow. In fact, the rate of liver damage has increased by as much as 20 percent, with the increase most prevalent among bodybuilders.
OxyElitePro was sold online and at supplement retail stores. Consumers are advised not to use any dietary supplements labeled OxyElite Pro or VERSA-1. Furthermore, consumers are advised to contact their doctor immediately if they suffer any signs or symptoms of an adverse reaction to the supplement.
Unsafe Drug Liability
Drug manufacturers, doctors, and pharmacists all have an obligation to ensure that the drugs – including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and dietary supplements – that they make and deliver to patients and consumers are safe. When a manufacturer produces an unsafe pharmaceutical product, it can be held liable in a product liability lawsuit.
Not only do drug makers have an obligation to make sure that the products they are producing are safe, but they must also make sure that they contain adequate warning labels. As we reported earlier this year, a jury awarded a young girl and her parents $63 million in compensatory damages (plus an additional $46 million in interest and costs) for severe adverse reactions the girl suffered after taking Children’s Motrin. The medicine’s maker, Johnson & Johnson, was found liable for failing to provide adequate warning labels about potential adverse reactions.
The Chicago medical product liability attorneys at Cogan & Power are dedicated to protecting consumers from unsafe pharmaceuticals and dangerous medical devices. If you have been injured or a loved one has died as a result of an unsafe drug or a defective medical device, please contact our office at (312) 477-2500 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible product liability or medical malpractice lawsuit.