Hepatitis lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report that the FDA recently launched an investigation into the manufacturer of OxyElite Pro amid over 20 cases of unexplained hepatitis and one death linked to the supplement.
OxyElite Pro is marketed as a fat-burning supplement, “scientifically reviewed and pharmacist formulated” by USPLabs of Dallas, Texas. It is sold throughout the United States in retail stores and online. All of the 29 cases of non-viral hepatitis have occurred in Hawaii, and 24 of these patients share an OxyElite link.
Of these 29 hepatitis victims, eleven have been hospitalized, two require liver transplants, and one has died. The CDC is now looking into other cases of severe liver injury throughout the country to see if any of those patients took OxyElite.
USPLabs stated that it will cease distributing OxyElite Pro until the federal investigation is complete, however, it is not admitting guilt for the injuries, adding that the cluster of hepatitis in Hawaii is a “complete mystery.” Non-viral hepatitis is not an infectious disease, meaning it is caused either by genetic mutation, environmental factor, or nutritional issues; illnesses such as Lyme disease and salmonella are infectious diseases (because they are caused by a virus, bacteria, fungus, or parasite), while non-infectious diseases include celiac disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Non-viral hepatitis can be caused by alcohol or drug abuse, including excessive use of over-the-counter drugs and supplements. Due to the government shutdown, the FDA had to recall several technical experts who had been furloughed to assist with the investigation. The FDA has had to re-prioritize its activities based on public health needs, and since hundreds of employees have been furloughed, can only respond to immediate or emergency situations.
USPLabs believes that counterfeit versions of OxyElite Pro are being distributed in the U.S., as it stopped selling the original version of the drug in early 2013. In 2012, the FDA cracked down on supplements like OxyElite that contain DMAA, which is a stimulant that can lead to heart attacks in some high-risk consumers. The federal agency sent out warning letters to companies selling DMAA-containing supplements to take them off the market.
Symptoms of hepatitis (which just refers to inflammation of the liver) include appetite loss, abdominal pain, fatigue, dark urine, joint pain, fever, nausea, gray-colored bowel movements, and yellowing of the skin or eyes. If you took OxyElite Pro and are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately, and report it to the FDA’s Med Watch hotline.
If you are confirmed to have hepatitis and are hospitalized from the illness, consider contacting an OxyElite Pro lawyer as soon as possible. Our attorneys have decades of experience litigating cases like this, and have won millions for our injured clients. We understand the stress and worry mounting medical bills can bring, and are here to help victims nationwide.
In 2012, a
similar hepatitis outbreak infected about thirty people in New England. This hepatitis strain was
infectious, meaning it was spread by the blood of one lab technician who
spread hepatitis C to dozens of patients. The man, David Kwiatkowski,
was employed at Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire when he injected himself
with painkillers intended for patients and left the contaminated syringes
Kwiatkowski worked as a traveling medical technician over the past five years at hospitals in Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania. Authorities in those states are now concerned their patients have been exposed to hepatitis C, as it is typically asymptomatic, going undetected until extensive liver damage has been done. Unfortunately, hepatitis C is also one of the most serious strains of the disease. Consequent lawsuits have been filed against Triage Staffing, the company that hired and placed Kwiatkowski at these hospitals.
Hepatitis lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will continue to report on the OxyElite Pro debacle as it unfolds. If you or a loved one consumed a contaminated supplement and was seriously sickened by it, you have important legal rights, and may be entitled to significant compensation.