MusclMasster Recalls Al-ER-G Capsules due to Ephedra

MusclMasster, LLC, is recalling all bottles of Al-Er-G Capsules due to the presence of Ephedra Herb, an ingredient that has been banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dietary supplements that contain ephedrine alkaloids pose a risk of serious health consequences, including heart attack, stroke, and death. These risks are proportionately unreasonable in light of any benefits that may result from their use.

This product was distributed from Wheat Ridge, Colorado, through a wellness center and retail store and does not contain UPC codes or expiration dates. The lot number is 314. The product was shipped to Wyoming, South Carolina, and Washington between 2016 and 2017.

Meant for Allergies

The product was designed to help allergies and was available to sample in six capsule packs from the wellness center in Wheat Ridge. However, no records were kept of who received the samples, and all samples have been destroyed.

The product is packed in a white bottle with a white cap. The bottles each contains 60 or 150 capsules, each capsule is 180 mg. of ephedra herb in a 650 mg. capsule. No illnesses concerning the Al-Er-G have been reported to date.

In the course of a recent FDA inspection, it was discovered that this product contained Ephedra Herb. MusclMasster has ceased production and distribution of the product and destroyed 100 percent of the banned product. Al-Er-G was not available online.

National law firm Parker Waichman LLP has extensive experience and success in representing clients in product liability litigation. Attorneys at the firm are available to answer questions for any individuals seeking legal information for a potential lawsuit.

What is Ephedra?

Ephedra is an herb. Typically, the branches and tops are used to make medicine, but the root or whole plant may also be used. Ephedra is banned by the FDA for safety concerns.

Mormon tea and ephedra are frequently confused. Mormon tea or American ephedra comes from Ephedra nevadensis, and ephedra or ma huang comes primarily from Ephedra sinica. Mormon tea lacks the chemicals, namely ephedrine, that give ephedra its effects and potentially dangerous side effects, according to WebMD.

Ephedra is used for weight loss, to treat obesity, and to enhance athletic performance. It is also used for allergies and hay fever, nasal congestion, and respiratory tract conditions such as bronchospasm, asthma, and bronchitis. It is also used in the treatment of colds, flu, swine flu, fever, chills, headache, inability to sweat, joint and bone pain, and as a “water pill” to increase urine flow in people who retain fluids.

There has been a lot of debate concerning the safety of ephedra and legal wrestling over its status. In June 1997, the FDA proposed restrictions on the ephedrine content of dietary supplements. There were new warning labels for products that contain the active ingredients in ephedra, and a ban on combination products containing ephedra and other natural stimulants, such as guarana and cola nut, both of which contain significant amounts of caffeine, reports WebMD.

These proposals were dropped after the association between ephedra use and serious adverse effects was challenged by the General Accounting Office (GAO) and the dietary supplement industry. According to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, the FDA must prove a supplement is unsafe before it can be withdrawn from the market. The FDA reviewed numerous adverse event reports involving ephedra-containing products, with 140 of the reports receiving in-depth clinical review by the FDA and outside experts. Findings from experts outside the FDA support the agency’s initial findings that ephedra is likely the cause of many of the events noted in the reports.

Banning of Ephedra

On December 30, 2003, the FDA announced the ban of ephedra products in the United States, effective April 2004. In April 2005, the dietary supplement industry successfully challenged the FDA ban on ephedra. A year after the ban on ephedra began, a federal judge in Utah struck down the FDA’s action saying that the FDA did not prove that low doses of ephedra are harmful. In August 2006, an appeals court reversed the Utah judge’s decision and upheld the FDA’s ban of ephedra-containing dietary supplements.

Ephedra use is banned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, International Olympic Committee, and National Football League.

Ephedra is on occasion, marketed as a recreational drug or “herbal ecstasy.” The FDA announced that ephedra products marketed as recreational drugs are unapproved and that misbranded drugs can be removed by the authorities. Ephedra contains a chemical called ephedrine which stimulates the heart, the lungs, and the nervous system, WebMD reports.

Legal Information Involving Dietary Supplements

If you or someone you know has been negatively affected by dietary supplements, you may have valuable legal rights. Parker Waichman LLP offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. We urge you to contact our personal injury attorneys at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

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