Over-the-counter diet drug recalled

The Canadian Press

One lot of an over-the-counter dietary supplement sold in the United States and distributed in Canada is being recalled because it contains a prescription drug used in the treatment of obesity that can cause heart problems.

Health Canada issued an advisory to notify the public of the U.S. recall of one lot of Metaboslim Apple Cider Vinegar because it has been found to contain sibutramine, an appetite suppressant.

Health Canada said Metaboslim's manufacturer, Confidence Inc., has confirmed that some of the affected bottles have been distributed in Canada, even though the products are not authorized for sale in this country. The department says it is working with the importer to determine where the product was sold and to ensure that it is immediately removed from the market.

The product being recalled is Lot Number 3001006.EXP.102009. The affected Metaboslim product is sold in a plastic bottle with white and red labelling and contains 60 gelatin capsules.

People taking sibutramine should be monitored by a physician, as the drug can cause serious side-effects, including cardiovascular reactions such as increased blood pressure, chest pain, and stroke. It may also interact with a number of other medications.

Sibutramine should not be taken by people who have had a heart attack, coronary artery disease, heart-related chest pain, irregular heart beats, congestive heart failure, a stroke or symptoms of a stroke. People with unstable or poorly controlled high blood pressure, or who are depressed or suffering from have a psychiatric illness, also should avoid sibutramine.

As well, women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant shouldn't take the drug, the advisory noted.

People who have the recalled product are asked to immediately discontinue its use and consult their health-care professional if they have concerns. Consumers should return the product to the point of purchase.