After the diet drug combination Fen Phen was recalled in 1997 due to a link with heart valve problems, many patients who were taking these drugs to lose weight switched to herbal Fen Phen. Herbal Fen Phen—which often contained a combination of ephedra (ma huang) and St. John’s wort—was marketed as a dietary supplement designed to mimic the effects of Fen Phen.
Shortly after the Fen Phen recall, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the risk of side effects from using herbal Fen Phen. The agency said that it had received more than 1,000 reports of adverse events linked to products with ephedrine—the the active ingredient in ephedra—including cases of heart attack, stroke, hypertension and at least 150 deaths.
Following these warnings and the deaths of two professional athletes who were using ephedra supplements at the time of their death, the FDA banned herbal Fen Phen and dietary supplements containing ma huang or other types of ephedra. The agency said that in addition to safety concerns about these products, there was no indication that they were effective at helping consumer to lose weight.
The law firm of Hissey Kientz is currently investigating cases involving consumers who experienced serious or fatal injuries after using products containing ephedra or ma huang. If you have used dietary supplements with ephedra, ephedrine or ma huang and suffered heart attack, stroke, primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH), primary arterial hypertension (PAH) or other injuries, please contact us to learn more about your legal rights. You can reach us by calling toll-free at (866) 275-4454, or by filling out a free case evaluation form to the right of this page.