Dr Shezad Malik Law Firm has offices based in Fort Worth and Dallas and represents people who have suffered catastrophic and serious personal injuries including wrongful death, caused by the negligence or recklessness of others. We specialize in Personal Injury trial litigation and focus our energy and efforts on those we represent.

Hydroxycut Update: Defective Drugs and Lawsuits

Hydroxycut is a nutritional supplement manufactured and marketed by Iovate Health Sciences Inc., that claims to help consumers lose weight. “An estimated 15% of the US population uses dietary supplements for weight loss, and Hydroxycut is the top selling product in this class and market, with roughly a million units sold per year.”

Its efficacy is considered questionable. On May 1, 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning after some Hydroxycut products were linked to liver damage, rhabdomyolysis, and at least one death. The manufacturer then recalled the products.

Iovate initiated a voluntary recall when it became aware that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s assessment of 23 reports about consumers having experienced liver-related problems, as well as a small number of published case reports, was different from Iovate’s analysis.

On May 1, 2009, the FDA issued an advisory which states that, “Although the liver damage appears to be relatively rare, FDA believes consumers should not be exposed to unnecessary risk.”
The number of adverse event reports described by the FDA is small relative to the many millions of people who have used Hydroxycut products over the 7 years referenced by the FDA. Iovate’s own assessment of the potential risk associated with the use of these products differs from that expressed by the Agency.

It was sold at conventional retailers, online retailers, and direct television marketing. Sold in the United States without ephedra, it advertised under a marketing slogan of a product that increased metabolism and reduced hunger cravings.

Its primary ingredients include Garcinia cambogia, Gymnema sylvestre, chromium polynicotinate, caffeine, and green tea. Like many such nutraceuticals, its efficacy is considered questionable.

Studies suggest ingredients in the Hydroxycut formula may help obese patients lose up to 4.5 times the weight than they would with just diet and exercise alone.

Hydroxycut promotes itself as being created and endorsed by doctors. Television advertisements for Hydroxycut feature Jon Marshall, a graduate of Midwestern University’s osteopathic medical school, and still in residency.

Hydroxycut is also endorsed by its formulator, Marvin Heuer, Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Florida, and Former Chief Scientific Officer of Iovate Health Sciences, the company that markets the product.

In recent years, Hydroxycut had become available in several forms and formulas that did not contain ephedra. They included:

* Hydroxycut
* Caffeine-Free Hydroxycut – similar to regular Hydroxycut but designed for caffeine-sensitive people.

* Hydroxycut 24 – an around-the-clock type of weight-loss product that includes regular Hydroxycut for the daytime and the caffeine-free for the evening.

* Hydroxycut Hardcore – a weight-loss supplement for bodybuilders or other sportspersons.

* Hydroxycut Max! – a weight-loss supplement for female fitness competitors or other sportswomen.

On March 27, 2003, Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon filed a lawsuit in St. Louis against Hydroxycut’s manufacturer MuscleTech Research and Development, Inc stating that claims Hydroxycut was “clinically proven” to be a “fat-burner” were false, specifically:

“The product is not “clinically proven” to be a “fat-burner,” as MuscleTech claims. MuscleTech’s own study showed that Hydroxycut has no efficacy as compared to placebo with the possible exception of an appetite-suppressing effect. Moreover, the serious adverse health risks of Hydroxycut with ephedra – including death – were not adequately described or disclosed in marketing and labelling of the product.”

Nixon also alleged that the “before” and “after” photographs were misleading, and that one woman’s “before” photo was deceptive because she was recently pregnant. MuscleTech paid $100,000 to settle the case while denying any wrongdoing.

An April 14, 2009 study summed up the situation:

“Dara et al report on a case series of two patients with hepatotoxicity associated with the weight-loss supplement Hydroxycut, so named because it contains potentially hepatotoxic hydroxycitric acid derived from the tropical fruit Garcinia cambogia.

Two earlier case reports in 2005 were also referenced. To this count should be added two additional case reports of hepatotoxicity associated with Hydroxycut. An estimated 15% of the US population uses dietary supplements for weight loss, and Hydroxycut is the top selling product in this class and market, with roughly a million units sold per year. With such wide usage, these six cases may underestimate the true incidence of hepatotoxicity by several degrees of magnitude.”

The tropical fruit Garcinia cambogia is also known as the Malabar Tamarind.

If you or a family member has been personally injured because of the fault of someone else: by the use of dangerous drugs, bad products, or toxic injury etc then please contact the Fort Worth Texas Defective Drugs Product Liability Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 817-255-4001 or Contact Me Online.

The Dr. Shezad Malik Law is currently evaluating and accepting Hydroxycut Side Effect cases.

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