The FDA is warning the public about a natural dietary supplement that claims to help treat arthritis, muscle pain, osteoporosis, bone cancer, and other conditions. The FDA says both Reumofan and Reumofan Plus contain potentially dangerous ingredients that are not listed on the label and in some cases they can be fatal. The warning was first issued in June 2012.
The FDA says dozens of reports claim the use of the supplements can be dangerous. While some say Reumofan or Reumofan Plus can cause death and stroke, others say it damages the liver, causes weight gain, swelling, leg cramps, a sudden change in glucose (sugar) control, adrenal suppression, and withdrawal syndrome.
The FDA analyzed the products in a lab and found several ingredients that can cause these serious side effects.
One ingredient, called dexamethasone, can weaken a person’s immune system, raise blood sugar levels and heighten the risk of injuries to muscle and bone. It is also tied to psychiatric problems. Another potential problem is that if a person suddenly stops taking Reumofan or Reumofan Plus, they can experience withdrawal. Those symptoms mirror what a person would go through during any sort of withdrawal: fatigue, nausea, low blood pressure, low blood sugar levels, fever, dizziness, and muscle and joint pain.
Another ingredient in Reumofan is an anti-inflammatory called diclofenac sodium. The FDA says this can increase the risk of heart attacks and/or a stroke. It can also cause bleeding, ulceration and a fatal perforation in the stomach and intestines.
These two ingredients are just among several that the FDA says can lead to “serious” and “life-threatening health consequences.”
The FDA says that because of the withdrawal problem, people taking the supplements should not immediately stop taking them, but they should contact their doctor to talk about what to do next.
Click here to read the FDA’s first warning about Reumofan Plus.
Click here to read the FDA’s second warning about Reumofan Plus.