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Research Letter
December 2018

Prohibited Stimulants in Dietary Supplements After Enforcement Action by the US Food and Drug Administration

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, Cambridge Health Alliance, Somerville, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis
  • 4Clinical Toxicology and Environmental Biomonitoring Laboratory, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(12):1721-1723. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.4846

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for eliminating adulterated and potentially hazardous dietary supplements from the marketplace. The FDA uses a variety of enforcement actions, including public notices, to remove potentially hazardous ingredients. However, it is not known whether public notices are effective. We explored the effectiveness of the FDA’s public notices issued between 2013 and 2016 targeting prohibited sympathomimetic stimulants in supplements. We analyzed supplements purchased in 2014 and the same brands purchased again in 2017 to determine the presence of prohibited stimulants before and after the FDA issued public notices.

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