On October 9 and October 10, 2013, the FDA issued several warnings related to weight loss products containing sibutramine. One such product is marketed under the name Be Inspired. Under the FDA advisory, consumers have been instructed not to purchase or use Be Inspired. The warning was issued after FDA laboratory analyses confirmed that Be Inspired contains sibutramine, a product known to pose a risk of elevated blood pressure and other adverse physical reactions, which may be exacerbated in individuals on certain other medications.
One may wonder how these weight loss supplements get into the marketplace, to begin with, if they are unsafe. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) regulates drugs, but not herbs. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), supplement manufacturers have broad leeway in asserting that the product is an herbal supplement, and therefore exempt from regulation. Basically, the manufacturer is on the firm ground provided that no claim is made that the product can “treat, mitigate or cure a disease.”
In the case of Be Inspired, the FDA was able to intervene because the compound did contain a regulated substance, Sibutramine.
If you have taken Be Inspired and you’ve experienced negative side effects, you should contact your doctor or another medical health care professional as quickly as possible.