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Weight Loss Supplement Alli Recalled Nationwide


Just to be safe, drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer healthcare will remove all of its weight loss drug alli from stores shelves in the U.S. and Puerto Rico due to fear of contamination. There have been at least 20 reports of retail purchases by consumers where the pills and capsules were a different color, shape and size.

In addition, some of the cartons had labels missing and the tamper-proof seals were not authentic. States affected include Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, New York and California. About 40,000 retailers are included in this recall which was announced March 27, 2014.

Courtesy of James Heilman, M.D.

Orlistat, the main drug in alli, has a checkered past.

Not all of the capsules contained alli, which is actually the drug orlistat. The capsules should be a turquoise blue capsule. On it features “60 Orlistat” in darker blue. Here are some of the lot numbers affected:

Carton Lot Expiration Date:

  • 14372 February 28, 2016
  • 14395 February 28, 2016
  • 14124 September 30, 2015
  • 14267 January 31, 2016
  • 14442 April 30, 2016

Orlistat works to control weight by decreasing the intestinal absorption of about one-quarter of the fat consumed. The company says for every two pounds of weight you use, alli will help you lose another pound. It is supposed to be taken along with a reduced-calorie low-fat diet.

Initially approved in 1999, GSK says more than 50 million people have used orlistat. Unlike a stimulant, alli is partially absorbed but the manufacturer says it does not affect your cardiovascular or central nervous system. Remember that the manufacturer submits safety data to the FDA for review. In February 2007, the FDA approved the use of orlistat for over-the- counter use.

Side effects include a change on bowel habits including loose stools.

GSK says it will investigate to get at the bottom of what happened and has launched an investigation along with the FDA. Consumers should visit or call GSK at 1-800-671-2554. You are advised not to use the product if you have it in your possession, call the company and retain the packaging.

Consumers should be alert for the following:

  • The Sealed for your Protection foil seal may be missing or may not be intact
  • The bottle may be missing a label
  • The outer carton may look fine with no evidence of tampering
  • Inside find tablets and capsules of different size, shape and color
  • The lot numbers on the carton may not match the bottle

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