Health risks found in energy supplementsThe Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is undertaking a comprehensive review of the safety of therapeutic goods containing both caffeine and oxedrine.
Oxedrine is found in the herb Citrus aurantium (also known as bitter orange).
A statement from the TGA said caffeine and oxedrine (along with some other herbal stimulants) were found in a range of health products currently available in Australia.
“These goods are variously marketed as energy supplements, appetite suppressants and weight loss products,” the TGA said.
“We are aware that some of these products are used and marketed as recreational stimulants. Such use could create significant health risks, especially if used in combination with illicit drugs or other stimulants.”
It said concerns were particularly relevant at this time as the end of the school year— and celebrations often associated with it—were approaching.
“We have received reports of adverse events after consumption of products containing both caffeine and oxedrine, including a report of teenagers experiencing serious cardiovascular toxicity after using such a product in combination with alcohol and additional caffeine from an energy drink,” the TGA said.
“Potential adverse events include fainting, increased heart rate, raised blood pressure, stroke and heart attack.”
The statement said people should avoid use of products that contain both caffeine and oxedrine in combination with alcohol and additional caffeine or other stimulants.
“Parents of teenagers are also advised to discuss this issue with them, especially in terms of any end-of-school year celebrations,” the TGA said.
It urged the reporting of all suspected adverse events involving products containing both caffeine and oxedrine to the TGA and asked health professionals to advise their patients of the risks.
Edition 384, 22 October 2013