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Lawyers eye on suits against Hydroxycut

Saturday May 2, 2009 (foodconsumer.org) -- A group of lawyers are seeking to sue the manufacturer of Hydroxycut after the FDA issued a warning against use of the popular weight loss supplements.

The FDA issued a statement on May 1 advising consumers to immediately stop using 14 Hydroxycut products, manufactured by Canadian company Iovate Health Sciences Inc., after receiving 23 reports of health problems which include potential liver injury and one death.

Iovate did not agree with the FDA's claim, stating on its website that the company's own studies have shown that its Hydroxycut products are not only effective, but also safe. But as a precaution, it has decided to voluntarily recall the concerned 14 products, urging buyers to return the products to the store where they were purchased for a refund.

The FDA said Hydroxycut Cleanse and Hoodia are not affected by the recall. Many drug stores have pulled off all Hydroxycut products, sources indicate.

Williams Kherkher, a Houston, Texas based attorney rushed out a press release on May 2, announcing that his office is investigating the recall. Kherkher has set up an informational online resource center to help victims of Hydroxycut-related health problems.

Kherkher reports that a 19 year old male from the Southwest US died from liver failure in 2007 after using Hydroxycut, another user received a liver transplant, and still one more has been placed on a liver waitlist.

Saiontz & Kirk, P.A., licensed to practice law in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania and Virginia, is seeking to file a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer of Hydroxycut. The law firm advised victims to preserve the product that made them sick rather than return it to the store where it was purchased.

Possible signs of liver injury include jaundice (which includes yellow skin tone), brown urine, light colored stools, nausea and vomiting, excessive fatigue or weakness, itching stomach pain and loss of appetite. Lawyers seek victims who have the problems including liver damage, liver failure, liver transplant, seizures, heart problems, and death among others.

So far, the FDA has identified 23 cases of serious health problems after individuals began taking Hydroxycut. The agency could not establish a causal relation between use of Hydroxycut and liver injury. In some instances, discontinuation of the product resulted in recovery of liver function.

(Written by Jimmy Downs and edited by Will Levine)