Nutritional Supplements

FDA recalls bee pollen supplements

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The FDA is recalling bee pollen products issued as natural supplements because they were found to contain prescription drugs. According to an article on the recall in Forbes, the announcement affects three separate companies and several brands, including Forever Beautiful. In response to the FDA action, the company has issued a formal recall of supplements that were shipped between July and November of this year.

Inside these products, the FDA allegedly found evidence of Phenolphthalein and Sibutramine, with possible side effects: The former is mainly used in laxatives and "not currently approved for marketing in the United States," while the latter poses a risk of seizures, among other things.

In a press release posted on the FDA website, REFA Enterprises, LLC, the company that produces the Forever Beautiful line, explained the reason that these surprise ingredients were so potentially dangerous and caused the products to be recalled.

"These undeclared ingredients make these products unapproved new drugs for which safety and efficacy have not been established," it reads. "These products may also interact in life threatening ways with other medications a consumer may be taking." However, it also notes that "to date, the company has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall."

In June, the FDA featured an article warning against some bee pollen products as possible "scams," specifically those marketed as potential aids for weight loss. While it listed several different brands of pollen-based products, it specifically targeted Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen, also for containing Sibutramine.

To make sure all users know the proper contents of medicine products, and to give your company the tools to render them properly, turn to printing technology that is suited for supplement labels and the bottles they come in.

Pharmacy labels can help patients pick the right pill

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Pills come in all different shapes, sizes and textures, but that might not be enough to keep everything straight. Vitamin labels and the packaging on any nutritional supplement should contain more than just a list of information: there should also be an easy way to identify the medicine inside the bottle, such as a picture of what it looks like or a description of how best to take it.

A recently study published by Dr. Aaron Kesselheim looked at the way that seemingly superficial changes in the physical pills given to patients might lead them to misjudge their medications and make errors regarding their health. 

The Washington Post's article on this study features comments from Kesselheim on the serious way that this can impact patients. His study, which examined the impact of changes to the medications of thousands of heart attack survivors, saw that there was a 66 percent the patients would stop taking their pills if the shape changed, and more than half would cease if the color was altered.

 "It doesn't explain all the nonadherence, certainly," he was quoted as saying. "But it is a statistically significant and clinically meaningful amount."

In addition, MedPageToday spoke to one of the study's coathors, Niteesh Choudhry, who said that the physical aspect of a pill is the most important to remembering them. "Patients know their medications as the little blue pill, or the diamond one," Choudhry said.

This shows that labeling and identifying a medication to the consumer can have a very powerful effect. Companies should consider the way a color label printer might make all the difference in this respect.