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Hydroxycut Recall by the FDA - How Can This Happen and What Might Happen Next?

Updated on May 4, 2009

Potentially scary news for users of the well-known diet pill

Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told consumers to "immediately stop" using Hydroxycut weight-loss pills. It is said that they can cause jaundice and liver failure. If you or a loved are taking them, you should stop right away and call your doctor if you think you may have been affected. A recall has only been issued for 14 of Hydroxycut's products, but apparently their 'Cleanse' and 'Hoodia' formulas were not recalled.

The recall was performed after the FDA received 23 reports of serious health problems after users of the weight-loss pill became ill and one death occurred. According to the FDA, the ingredients that are causing these harmful effects are not yet known and it may take some time to do proper testing.

How Can Something Like This Happen?

Hydroxycut is NOT a pharmaceutical prescription medication. The FDA does not strictly regulate over the counter diet pills, although it has several regulations. Therefore, Hydroxycut was only tested by private test companies that it's manufacturer, Lovate Health Sciences contracted.

It's scary when massive recalls like this occur, but hopefully the 23 reported cases are all that will be out there.

This particular instance of a recall will surely animate the debate on how the FDA currently deals with diet supplements and other OTC (over-the-counter) substances. The last major voluntary recall for an OTC product was in 2007; infant cough syrup was voluntary recalled by several major brands after it was deemed unsafe if an overdose of the product was to occur in an infant.

Hydroxycut Recall

What's Going to Happen Now?

Stores are beginning to pull all Hydroxycut products from shelves. Any consumer should be able to return their products with a receipt to the place of purchase. If you do not have the receipt, your local store where you purchased the product may still do a return as they'll be refunded by the manufacturer for a returned Hydroxycut product. If you believe that you may have been adversely affected by the product and are considering contacting an attorney to discuss your options, do NOT return the product to your local store for a refund without gaining your attorney's advice first.

It will be interesting to see what develops as extensive tests are performed. Let's hope that these 23 instances of illness (and one death) are the last victims of this product.

Rest assured that you'll start to see top law firms across the country that specialize in torts and class-action suits rising to the occasion and offering free testing for potential Hydroxycut victims. TV, radio and the internet will begin to be inundated over the next few weeks as tests are run to determine the full extent of Hydroxycut's potential damages.

After reading on Hydroxycut's website (now forwarded to, it claims that its products are used by millions of customers per year. Even if .005% percent of those customers are found to have been adversely affected by an Hydroxycut products, there could be a major tort case in development over the next few months, with major consequences for Lovate Health Sciences, the manufacturer of Hydroxycut.


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    • Jerrico Usher profile image

      Jerrico Usher 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I have been taking hydroxycut water supplement (those little powder deals you pour into yoru water bottle)and I get a slight headache after drinking it (I add it to a large gatorade size bottle of water)but I'm guessing that is just dehydration... good hub, I never thought to research this stuff but here was my first stop. I agree with that other guy however, just because 23 people were adversely affected doesn't mean it's bad so much. I mean there are millions alergic to certain foods but does that mean everyone is?

      The irony however is that if your super healthy and take this your putting yourself at risk of bad health, if your in poor health (usually what stimulates you to try this for energy or weight loss?)this compounds your problems. You really should take care of your liver as it is the main thing in yoru body that's filtering toxins and making them benign...and you can't grow a new one...

    • profile image

      Art 9 years ago

      The FDA approves tons of Drugs that Kill Hundreds of thousands yearly, not including the food they allow to be full of toxins, addictive substances etc. Dont get me started on vaccines that even Merks heads have admitted putting cancer viruses into. Lets break it down to simplistics. The human body is made up of cells, these cells each require nutrients to function. Each of these types of cells make up Organs which do a specific job, which also require nutrients broken down by food to function properly. The FDA is pushing an agenda, it could very well be that hydroxycut could be to blame... but i somehow doubt it or tons of others would have the same problem, abuse could be to blame, people have little sense... like Vioxx eh. It's funny how Vioxx killed mega thousands, I think a hundred thousand or more. All the hell was raised, then it calmed down.. those jackasses allowed it to be brought back into the market. Lets be realistic here, they are participating in destroying the health of America for the global agenda. I have been in is fed to the uneducated people who think nutrients are bad. It's simply amazing to me that anyone could deny that they can live without real food and not eventually be riddled with disease. What a joke

    • Jimmy Fuentes profile image

      Jimmy Fuentes 9 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga

      I have to agree with Fuego and Barrierps. I think the problem might be the "if 1 pill is good then 2 is better" syndrome. I am 33 years old and used it for years in college and recently (within reason - 2 months on, 2 months off) & I have never had a problem with it, nor have any of my friends. I mean aspirin may very well kill 23 people a year. Who knows... It's unfortunate that it seems to potentially be a rush to regulate.

      And you are correct that the FDA doesn't directly make money from regulation, but it isn't unheard of for the FDA to regulate things in the interests of the pharmaceutical companies (i.e competing products that might be 100% natural). The FDA looks for anything that could have "drug like" results . I mean if there was a certain fruit that was guaranteed to produce weight loss, it wouldnt be a surprise to see them try to regulate it. Just my 2 cents.

    • barrierps profile image

      barrierps 9 years ago from The Rant

      I was amazed by the recall, I have used Hydroxycut Hardcore and Hydroxycut Max with no major side effects. I just assume that whoever the people are did not read or follow the instructions on the label.

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 9 years ago from United States

      hi there, thanks for your response and thanks for the clarification on your comment. :) There definitely are a lot of lobbyists out there, that is for sure. The pharmaceutical companies can afford the best talent to ensure that their needs are met.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 9 years ago from West By God

      I don't know if I am misreading you comment back to me or not. I didn't say the FDA was making money. They are making decisions to have others make money. The lobbyists do this very well. They don't care what the stats say or who gets hurt. Tehy are the ones who are getting paid to do the ork for the companies who want to make money. Therefore the FDA is responsible for the damage they are doing by giving in to the lobbyists and the drug makers.

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 9 years ago from United States

      Thanks for reading. I have used hydroxycut, too (as well as a number of other diet pills). I find that every single one of them that I've tried has worked to suppress appetite for the first two weeks and almost directly thereafter, I become insanely hungry. Totally defeats the purpose, right? haha. One could argue that it's because my metabolism increased because of the ingredients, but I hated being that hungry because of diet pills. The best method that I found for weight loss was a balanced, healthy diet of protein, fiber and whole-grain carbohydrates and exercise. That is the only way that I've ever successfully lost weight!

    • profile image

      Janetta 9 years ago

      Good hub--my husband has used this product in the past. Scary how stuff can be bad for you without your even knowing it.

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 9 years ago from United States

      Thanks for reading and sharing your comment, Lady Guinevere. I will definitely read your hub.

      It's interesting because I was having a friendly argument the other day with my mother in regards to the topic of the FDA making money. They simply don't. They are a government agency and are therefore non-profit. Yes, the pharmaceutical companies have the potential to profit from certain FDA rulings, but the FDA itself, does not benefit directly from monitoring the safety of substances.

      I certainly don't agree with all of the FDA's decisions and believe that things need to change, but they aren't making money because of their poor decisions, they aren't a business. I have always been curious as to why people think the FDA profits as a government agency and am going to start researching it.(Could make for a good hub!) :)

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 9 years ago from West By God

      No they did the same with Aspartame and they SHOULD take that off the market and out of our foods!  If you want to know more about that you can read my hub about Sugar in will think different after reading this hub and mine.  The FDA doesn't do things for people to keep them safe, they do it for the money.

      Oh, great hub and keep them coming!

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 9 years ago from United States

      It has not yet been determined if the 23 people named abused the product. What if they were using it as directed? If so, there is a major problem here. As the expert in the NBC News clip that I posted on here said, a lot of times, cases of damage from using a product like this go unreported to the FDA.

    • profile image

      fmr hydroxycut user 9 years ago


      Did you check with your doctor before using Hydroxycut? pretty sure they would've advised you not to use it. It is not mean for teenagers and a lot of stores will not sell it to people under 18.

    • profile image

      Fuego28 9 years ago

      Just because 23 people cant use the product correctly why do all of us that used it for months some for even years have to suffer from their stupidity ?? they should have checked with a doctor before using this product oersonally im 16 and been using it for awhile and i never have had a problem with hydroxycut!Why do People always got to ruin it for others...


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