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SafetyAlerts
December 19, 1999

3 People Hospitalized After Taking Dietary Supplements

Sacramento, CA (SafetyAlerts) - California state health officials are renewing their warning about a group of drugs marketed as dietary supplements following reports that three Riverside County body-builders were hospitalized with acute respiratory failure and delirium within one hour of consuming NRG3. The product contains the ingredient 1,4-butanediol (1,4-BD), also known as 1,4 tetramethylene glycol, l,4 butylene glycol, butane 1,4 diol or Sucol-B.

Use of these products has been associated with 232 injuries in California in 1998 and 49 deaths nationwide, including two in California, from 1995 through October 1999, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

State Health Director Diana Bonta┬┤ is advising consumers not to consume any product with 1,4-BD because it has been associated with severe and life-threatening health problems. Manufacturers of these products market them under a variety of names, but other products with this ingredient are enLiven, Zen, Serenity, Somato-Pro, Orange FX Rush, Lemon FX Drop, Cherry FX Bomb, Borametz, Pine Needle Extract, Promusol or BVM. The three Riverside County residents who became ill after consuming NRG3 have since recovered.

The California Department of Health Services (DHS) warned consumers earlier this year about the use of these products after a number of reports of health problems, including headaches, vomiting, slow heart rate, slow breathing, seizures, unconsciousness, coma and one death. These products can be in liquid, powder, capsule or other forms and are promoted with claims to build muscles, improve physical performance, reduce stress, enhance sex and induce sleep. They may be sold via the Internet or in health food stores, gymnasiums and fitness centers.

DHS considers products containing 1,4-BD to be unapproved drugs. Such drugs cannot be sold legally in California. Manufacturers and sellers of these products face removal of their product from sale and possible civil or criminal action.

These products are related to gamma hydroxy butyrate (GHB) and gamma butyrolactone (GBL), which have also been associated with severe and life-threatening health problems. GHB is subject to controls similar to cocaine and methamphetamines. Gov. Gray Davis has signed legislation imposing similar restrictions on the availability of 1,4-BD, GBL and related chemicals, effective Jan. 1.

Individuals who have experienced health problems from these products should immediately consult a physician. Bonta┬┤ also advises consumers who have used these products over a period of time to contact their physician for directions on how to safely discontinue their use.

 
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