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Unapproved drugs may cause injury or even death

It is a common misconception by consumers that if any drug is on the shelf, whether over-the-counter or otherwise, it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safe consumption. However, this is not the case, and injuries up to, and including, death are caused by these unsafe products.

According to a list produced weekly by the FDA, there have been a number of over-the-counter drugs and supplements recalled in 2017 due to their unapproved status. An unapproved status means that a drug has not been tested and confirmed to be safe for human consumption by the FDA. Therefore, these products can cause serious harm. A large majority of products removed from the market under this category are sold to consumers as dietary supplements for weight loss and energy, or as a sexual stimulant. Many of them can be found in the counter case beside almost any gas station checkout.

Injuries from these products are not always immediately recognized. Some may be taken for months, or even years, before organ damage is found. This can include liver, kidneys, and heart issues. In the case of extreme stimulants, there have been many instances that resulted in death, often times of young adults.

It is of extreme importance that a consumer be aware of all ingredients in any product ingested. Further, he or she should verify that product has been approved by the FDA as safe. Any company who places a health and wellness product on the market has the explicit duty of following safety regulations and guidelines. If these measures are not taken, that company can be held liable in a products liability lawsuit by an injured party, or by the family of an injured party. These cases can result in very large monetary awards and/or settlements, and should always be handled by an experienced products liability attorney.

Source: FDA, "Recalls, Market Withdrawals, and Safety Alerts," Accessed Nov 28, 2017

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