Alli, a popular over-the-counter diet drug and its prescription counterpart Xenical have drawn FDA scrutiny after more than 2 dozen adverse event reports linked the drugs to liver injury.
According to the FDA press release, “Between 1999 and 2008, the FDA received 32 reports of serious liver injury in patients taking orlistat. Of those cases, 27 reported hospitalization and six resulted in liver failure. Thirty of the adverse events occurred outside the United States. The most commonly reported adverse events included yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice), weakness, and stomach pain.”
Alli contains half the dose of orlistat of Xenical. Both diet drugs are designed to block the absorption of fat in the intestines.
While the FDA’s release noted that the investigation is ongoing and in its early stages, anyone who has taken either drug and experience symptoms associated with liver injury such as weakness, fatigue, jaundice, or discolored urine should contact their doctor as soon as possible.
On May 1, 2009 another dietary drug supplement, Hydroxycut, was pulled from the market after adverse event reports linked the supplement to liver injury.
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