The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers to not purchase or use Arth-Q, a dietary supplement marketed and sold to treat joint and muscle pain, as well as pain associated with arthritis. The FDA is advising consumers to discard any product they may have in their possession.
An FDA-conducted laboratory analysis of Arth-Q confirmed that the supplement contains the active drug ingredient, ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, known as an NSAID.
NSAID medications have been associated with increased rates of, and risks for, cardiovascular events that include heart attack and stroke. NSAIDs have been tied to serious gastrointestinal harm, such as bleeding, ulceration, and fatal stomach and intestinal perforation.
The undeclared and hidden ibuprofen may lead to drug interactions and adverse reactions should the consumer be taking other medications or taking other NSAID-containing products.
Should negative side effects be experienced due to taking Arth-Q, a health care professional should be contacted immediately. Side effects may include:
- Unusually dark stools or dark urine
- Stomach pain
- Increased bruising
- Other signs of bleeding
The agency also indicated that sought to advise consumers about the “growing trend of dietary supplements or conventional foods with hidden drugs and chemicals. These products are typically promoted for sexual enhancement, weight loss, and body building, and are often represented as being ‘all natural.’” The FDA also noted that it is “unable to test and identify all products marketed as dietary supplements on the market that have potentially harmful hidden ingredients,” and “consumers should exercise caution before purchasing any product” in these categories.
Ibuprofen is among the drugs that have been associated with the dangerous and life-threatening Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). SJS and TEN typically occur with medication use and both are potentially fatal. SJS and TEN involve skin and mucus membrane cell death. SJS blistering typically occurs in the mouth, eyes, and vagina; blistering may spread to internal organs. SJS may also cause patchy areas of rash that ultimately peel off the skin and cause scarring and blindness. TEN, an extremely severe form of SJS, occurs when over 30 percent of the body is involved. Both SJS and TEN typically require hospital burn unit treatment.
The Arth-Q supplement is labeled in English and is also sold to the Korean-speaking community under a Korean name. Arth-Q is also sold in retail stores and online, including at www.kaymall.com.