Warning: Counterfeit Alli

From the U.S Food and Drug Administration:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning the public about a counterfeit version of the weight-loss drug Alli 60 mg capsules (120 count refill pack) being sold over the Internet, particularly at online auction sites.

The counterfeit product is illegal and unsafe. FDA advises people who believe that they have a counterfeit product not to use the drug and to dispose of it immediately. There is no evidence at this time that the counterfeit Alli product has been sold in retail stores.

The counterfeit Alli looks similar to the authentic product, with a few notable differences. The counterfeit Alli has:
  • a missing LOT code on the outer cardboard packaging
  • an expiration date that includes a MONTH, DAY, and YEAR—the expiration date of the real Alli only contains a MONTH and a YEAR
  • a plain foil for the inner safety seal without any words on it—the safety seal of the real Alli has the words “SEALED FOR YOUR PROTECTION” prominently printed on it.
  • large capsules with white powder, as opposed to small white pellets found in the real Alli
  • a slightly taller plastic bottle with a wider cap and coarser ribbing on the cap than what is seen with the real Alli
Alli is an FDA-approved, over-the-counter weight-loss drug that contains orlistat as its active ingredient. The counterfeit version of Alli does not contain orlistat; instead it is made with varying amounts of sibutramine, a stimulant drug.

Although sibutramine is the active ingredient in another FDA-approved prescription weight-loss drug, it is only to be used in specific doses and under the supervision of a physician.

Posted: 1/26/2010 10:20:00 AM

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