Think twice before buying supplements that claim to help you lose weight or boost your sex life. The FDA is seeing an increase in sales of over-the-counter supplements that contain hidden and dangerous prescription drugs, controlled substances, or untested and unstudied components. These ingredients can cause serious side effects and interact with medications you are taking. Contaminated supplements are widely available and sold online from sellers on eBay or Amazon or at major retail stores such as Walmart. In December 2021, for example, the FDA identified nine sexual enhancement products containing dangerous ingredients sold on Walmart’s website. Remember: Unlike pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter supplements aren’t FDA tested, and companies can sell anything they want until the FDA proves they’re unsafe. Also be aware that many types of supplements contain dangerous ingredients, including some products claiming to promote better sleep or relieve pain. Talk to your doctor before taking any supplement, and do your homework: Check the FDA’s Contaminated Products Database (/tainted) to see if the supplements in your medicine cabinet (or some you’re eyeing) are listed.
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