Metabolife is an herbal supplement taken to increase weight loss by burning fat and increasing energy levels. Metabolife raises the body’s metabolism and creates a thermogenic (increase in metabolism and fat burning) response.
Metabolife is an ephedra-based diet pill used to combat obesity and excessive weight in adults.
Since ephedra is a plant-based substance, Metabolife and other ephedra-based products are not regulated. This means by law, the FDA cannot check the safety or effectiveness of herbal products and may not require herbal makers to disclose health hazards they find.
Side effects associated with taking Metabolife include high blood pressure, heart problems, insomnia, anxiety, and nausea.
There can be serious side effects when ephedra is used in combination with caffeine–two of the active ingredients in Metabolife. The FDA has collected reports of more than 100 deaths among Metabolife users, as well as over 800 reports of heart attacks, seizures, strokes, and other health problems since 1994. These health problems include hypertension, heart palpitation, nerve damage, muscle injury, psychosis and memory loss, heart rate irregularities, and tremors.
Metabolife is contraindicated in female patients who are pregnant or nursing. Patients are also advised to consult with their physician before using the product if they have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart or thyroid disease, enlarged prostate, glaucoma, psychiatric illness, recurrent headaches, or depression.
What is Ephedrine?
Ephedrine, also called Ma Huang, Ephedra, epitonin, and Chinese ephedra, is an herb which grows mainly in Mongolia and the bordering regions of China. The active ingredients in ephedra are naturally occurring ephedra alkaloids, the most important one being ephedrine. Ephedrine alkaloids are amphetamine-like compounds with potentially lethal stimulant effects on the central nervous system and heart. These serious effects include hypertension (elevated blood pressure), heart palpitation, nerve damage, muscle injury, psychosis, stroke, heart rate irregularities, insomnia, nervousness, tremors, seizures, heart attacks, and death.
What is Guarana?
Guarana is an herb used by Brazilian Indians in a manner similar to coffee or tea, and contains an exceptionally high level of caffeine. When ephedra is mixed with Guarana, the chance of elevating blood pressure increases significantly. Most health care professionals strongly recommend that ephedra products should not contain caffeine.
Why is Metabolife Still Being Sold?
Although evidence has shown Metabolife to be potentially dangerous, and even fatal, it is still being sold because the FDA has little control over herbal supplements. The FDA has proposed limiting doses to no more than 24 milligrams ephedra per day (8 milligrams per dose), though, and advises against using ephedra supplements for more than 7 days at a time. However, this proposal is in limbo due to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DESHA).
What is DESHA?
DESHA is a legislation act that was passed in 1994 that says dietary supplements must be assumed to be safe unless proved otherwise. This means that companies are free to sell their products until the FDA can prove they are dangerous. Protection under DESHA has increased the herbal industry’s growth because supplement makers can spend millions of dollars on marketing instead of investing this money into research and testing.
It is also important to note that under this legislation, there is no standardization of manufacturing of herbs or supplements. Although many in the supplement industry are policing themselves, it is important to be aware that supplements often contain varying amounts of active ingredients.
Can I file a lawsuit if I have suffered damages from taking Metabolife?
Possibly. While all medications have certain, anticipated side effects, a drug manufacturer has a duty to inform physicians adequately regarding the known risks associated with its drugs. If a manufacturer fails to do so, it can be held responsible to patients who are injured as the result of inadequate warnings, under a legal theory known as “product liability.” Depending upon the particular circumstances of your case, damages may include recovery for any of the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Emotional distress
If you or a loved one has experienced any health problems while taking Metabolife, you should contact your doctor immediately. You may also wish to contact an experienced Metabolife lawyer to discuss your legal options. As all legal claims are subject to time limits, however, you may risk forfeiture of your right to financial compensation if you delay.