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FDA orders ephedra seized in Texas

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ROCKVILLE, Md., Nov 24, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered the seizure of more than 2.1 million capsules of the banned food supplement ephedra in Texas Wednesday.

At the FDA's request, Asia MedLabs' supply of Vitera-XT was embargoed by the Texas Department of State Health Services prior to the filing of Tuesday's enforcement action. U.S. Marshals armed with a warrant seized the capsules in Houston. One million were unpackaged and the rest were contained in more than 14,000 labeled bottles.

Although the product is labeled a "traditional Asian herbal formulation," the product is still considered a dietary supplement based on FDA regulations.

The FDA has warned consumers against the use of dietary supplements containing ephedra since June 1997 and banned these products after research confirmed ephedrine alkaloids raise blood pressure and otherwise stress the circulatory system.

The drug is marketed with claims it benefits flu, fevers, allergies and improves circulation.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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