Over-the-counter drugs sold under the brand names Artri and Ortiga could contain undeclared drugs and should not be used by American consumers, the Food and Drug Administration warned this week.
“The FDA urges consumers taking these products to immediately speak with their healthcare professional (eg, a doctor) about safely discontinuing use of the product because suddenly stopping these medications can be dangerous” says the FDA warning.
“Suddenly stopping corticosteroids after long-term or high-dose use can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms including fatigue, nausea, low blood pressure, low blood glucose, fever, dizziness, muscle and joint pain, and difficulty breathing”.
You can find these products, promoted for the treatment of arthritis, muscle pain, osteoporosis and even bone cancer, in stores, eBay, Amazon and other websites.
In January, the agency issued a warning about a hidden drug ingredient in Artri Garlic King. Since then, the FDA says it has received reports of adverse events about Arti King products that include “liver toxicity and death.”
This is what you need to know.
What Artri and Nettle products are involved?
▪ King Artri Garlic: The FDA says that Artri Ajo King contains diclofenac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which is not listed among the ingredients.
“NSAIDs can cause an increased risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes, as well as serious gastrointestinal harm, including bleeding, ulceration, and fatal perforation of the stomach and intestines,” the January warning said. “This hidden drug ingredient may also interact with other medications and significantly increase the risk of adverse events, particularly when consumers use multiple NSAID-containing products.”
▪ King Artri: The FDA says that Artri King contains diclofenac and dexamethasone.
“Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid that is commonly used to treat inflammatory conditions,” an FDA warning read. “Use of corticosteroids can affect a person’s ability to fight infection and can cause high blood sugar, muscle injury, and psychiatric problems. When corticosteroids are taken for a long time or in high doses, they can suppress the adrenal gland.”
▪ Nettle Plus Garlic King: The FDA says the lab test says diclofenac.
▪ Nettle Plus Garlic King (Extra Strong): Diclofenac, dexamethasone and methocarbamol are not listed as ingredients, according to the FDA.
“Methocarbamol is a muscle relaxant that can cause sedation, dizziness, and low blood pressure,” the FDA said. “Methocarbamol can also affect mental and physical abilities to perform certain tasks, such as driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery.”
What should you do if you experience a problem?
If this or any drug causes a problem, after notifying a medical professional, report it to the FDA through its MedWatch adverse events page or fill out a form that you can get by calling 800-332-1088.