Almost every week, the FDA removes tainted dietary supplements from the market due to health concerns. For example, in January 2016, the FDA issued an alert about “Pink Bikini and Shorts on the Beach Capsules” from Lucy's Weight Loss System of Arlington, TX. It was found that these weight loss aids contained sibutramine, phenolphthalein, and/or diclofenac, but these ingredients were not declared on the label. Sibutramine can cause increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some patients and may present a significant risk for patients with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, or stroke. Phenolphthalein was previously used in over-the-counter (OTC) laxatives, but was removed from the US market. Health risks linked to phenolphthalein could include potentially serious stomach upset, irregular heartbeat, and cancer with long-term use. Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) which could lead to serious side effects in patients taking other NSAIDs, with recent heart surgery, or with allergies to NSAIDs. NSAIDs can also lead to stomach bleeding, fatal heart attack or stroke.
Newer medications help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. Some of these sleep-inducing drugs, which bind to the same receptors in the brain as do benzodiazepines, include Lunesta , Sonata , and Ambien . They are somewhat less likely than benzodiazepines to be habit-forming, but over time can still sometimes cause physical dependence. They can work quickly to increase drowsiness and sleep. Another sleep aid, called Rozerem , acts differently from other sleep medicines by affecting a brain hormone called melatonin, and is not habit-forming. Belsomra is another unique sleep aid that affects a brain chemical called orexin , and is not addictive or habit-forming.