Here's the good news for customers of Dallas-based USP Labs. Its dietary supplements are no longer linked to fatal heart attacks. The FDA made sure of that this summer when it made the company destroy $8 million worth of product containing dimethlyamylamine, or DMAA, a compound that had been linked to 86 reports of illness and death.
And here's the bad news. The FDA thinks USP Labs may have replaced DMAA with a new active ingredient: hepatitis.
The federal agency issued a warning on Wednesday linking the company's bodybuilding supplement OxyElite Pro to an outbreak of non-viral hepatitis in Hawaii. Of 29 patients hospitalized with acute heptatitis so far, the state's health department says that two dozen had used the powder. Two of those have required liver transplants. One has died.
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The public health investigation is ongoing, and officials have found no definitive evidence linking OxyElite Pro to the hepatatis outbreak. Nevertheless, the initial findings have been suggestive enough that the FDA recommends that "consumers stop using any dietary supplement product labeled as OxyElite Pro while the investigation continues."
In a statement to WFAA, USP Labs says it "stands by the safety of all of its products."
"The cluster of liver issues in Hawaii is a complete mystery and nothing like this has ever been associated with OxyELITE Pro in all of the years are products have been on the market," it said. "We know of no credible evidence linking OxyELITE Pro to liver issues."
Nevertheless, the company has stopped distribution of the product pending the outcome of the investigation.