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Ephedra Ban Is Effective Immediately

April 19, 2004 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 82, Issue 16

FDA announced on April 12 that its final rule prohibiting the manufacture and sale of dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids--ephedra--is effective immediately. On Feb. 11, FDA published a rule in the Federal Register saying that supplements containing ephedra present an unreasonable risk of illness or injury. The rule was to become effective 60 days from then, but two manufacturers asked the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey for a temporary injunction to stay the rule. However, the court decided not to delay the rule, and the ban went into effect immediately. Consumers who are still using ephedra products, which are used to enhance weight loss and improve sports performance, should stop immediately, FDA says. It issued letters to more than 60 firms in December, telling them of its intent to publish the rule, and most of them have stopped selling products containing ephedra. In a separate action on April 12, FDA issued a warning to consumers not to use eight additional liquid supplements because they may contain dangerous chemicals. The list includes Trip2Night, Invigorate II, Liquid Speed, and Hornet Liquid. Some of them contain ephedrine and the controlled substance gamma hydroxy butyrate, usually called GHB.


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