Slim-30 Herb Supplement is marketed as a “natural” herb for weight loss.

But an FDA lab analysis of this product revealed undeclared N-desmethyl sibutramine and traces of sibutramine (Meridia).

Yes, sibutramine is FDA-approved as an appetite suppressant for weight loss.

And adding N-desmethyl sibutramine to “natural” product is a strategy by some manufacturers to evade regulatory inspection.

However, neither drug is approved for use in Slim-30; therefore, the safety and effectiveness of the product is unknown.

The bottom line?

Slim-30 can be found on the Internet and in retail stores. It poses a threat to consumers because sibutramine is known to substantially 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.

Some consumers may think the risk is overblown. For them, here is an article written by researchers at the Princess Margaret Hospital, in Hong Kong, which reviews this issue from a Chinese perspective.

The article also documents the occurrence of serious side effects in people taking contaminated slimming products, including liver failure, heart failure, cardiac arrest, and psychosis.

7/19/10 10:46 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.