The FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued seven letters to companies warning them that they are selling illegal homeopathic HCG weight-loss drugs that have not been approved by FDA, and that make unsupported claims.
The FDA is advising consumers to steer clear of "homeopathic" human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) weight-loss products. They are sold in the form of oral drops, pellets and sprays and can be found online and in some retail stores. The products direct users to follow a severely restrictive diet. “These products are marketed with incredible claims and people think that if they're losing weight, HCG must be working,” says Elizabeth Miller, acting director of the FDA’s Division of Non-Prescription Drugs and Health Fraud. “But the data simply does not support this; any loss is from severe calorie restriction. Not from the HCG.”
HCG is a hormone that is produced by the human placenta during pregnancy. HCG is approved by the FDA as a prescription drug for the treatment of female infertility, and other medical conditions. It is not approved for weight loss.
Consumers on the restrictive diets that are part of the HCG product plan are at increased risk for side effects that include gallstone formation, an imbalance of the electrolytes that keep the body’s muscles and nerves functioning properly, and an irregular heartbeat. See the announcement.