Greek Ruins

  • by: |
  • 02/17/2007
FDA Warns of Wrong Drugs
Being Sold Over the Internet

Associated Press

February 16, 2007 6:03 p.m.

Consumers who thought they were purchasing sleep aids, antidepressants and other drugs over the Internet instead were shipped a powerful antipsychotic, sending some unwitting victims to the emergency room, federal health officials warned Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration said a number of consumers took the schizophrenia drug, haloperidol, after being shipped what they thought were a variety of different pills, including Ambien, a sleep aid, and the anti-anxiety medications Xanax and Ativan. Others thought they were getting the antidepressant Lexapro.

Preliminary analysis of the pills, packaged in plain plastic bags and mailed in envelopes bearing Greek postmarks, suggest they contain haloperidol. The
FDA said it had reports of several consumers seeking emergency medical treatment for symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, muscle spasms and muscle stiffness after taking the pills.

The FDA used the occasion to remind consumers of the possible dangers of buying prescription drugs on the Web.

The FDA posted images of the suspect pills and their shipping packages on its Web site to help consumers identify any suspect product they may have ordered.

Consumers apparently ordered the drugs through a variety of commercial Web sites. The FDA said it was investigating.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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