FDA Warns Against DIY Detox

Magic detox pills and potions are never what they seem.

Magic detox pills and potions are never what they seem.

Plenty of people adhere to the old adage that, “If you want it something done right, you have do it yourself.” But when it comes to detoxing, that’s hardly the best method.

Online Detox Products Strike Again

The latest example of DIY detox is Hot Detox, a product primarily sold online. It’s touted as an “all-natural” product consisting of bee pollen capsules, but FDA laboratory analysis recently confirmed that the product contains sibutramine (formerly marketed as Meridia) a controlled substance removed from the market by the FDA in October 2010 due to safety reasons.

A common effect of sibutramine is a significant increase in blood pressure and pulse. This can cause potentially fatal consequences in users with a history coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias or stroke. It can also be potentially fatal when mixed with other medications that the user is taking.

In a 2010 clinical trial called SCOUT, Meridia was found to increase the risk of significant cardiovascular episodes (non-fatal heart attack, non-fatal stroke, resuscitation after cardiac arrest and cardiovascular death) by 16 percent in patients, compared to those who took a placebo.

The Danger of Going Cold Turkey

When it comes to drug detox, doing it on your own is even less-advised. Late stages of Xanax withdrawal can lead to life-threatening seizures, while a severe form of alcohol withdrawal known as delirium tremens can spark extreme mental and nervous system changes that may lead to death.

Medically Supervised Detox

medically supervised detox is almost always recommended for those looking to kick a drug habit. This means entering an inpatient facility that is staffed by trained, licensed medical professionals who will supervise the detox process. Patients will have their vital signs monitored and be able to address any ailments during the process. In certain cases, medications such as methadone and buprenorphine may be used to help lower both drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Asking for or admitting you need assistance in overcoming a drug problem is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary; it’s a sign of maturity and presence of mind. It’s ensuring that you have the best possible chance at becoming sober and regaining control of your life – something we all deserve.

Additional Reading: The Road to Recovery: 3 Unique Stories of Detox

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