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January 21st, 2010
FDA Alert: Counterfeit Weight Loss Drug being sold on the Internet

The FDA and GlaxoSmithKline have warned Consumers to be aware of fake and “potentially harmful” versions of the weight loss drug Alli that are being sold on the Internet through auction websites such as eBay.

The counterfeit versions of Alli look very similar to the original, but these fake pills are not filled with orlistat – the main ingredient in the official weight loss drugs Alli and Xenical. Instead, they are packed with sibutramine.

Sibutramine can be found in the prescription weight loss drug Meridia and may have a powerful affect on the chemical signals in the brain. Due to this, patients need a doctor’s prescription in order to take Meridia and the drug should not be used by certain people.

In addition, Alli is taken three times during the day while Meridia is only taken once.

The counterfeit Alli has only been found in 60 milligram, 120-count refill packs. The real drug’s manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, believes that the fake drugs are only being sold on the internet.

In order to identify the fake drugs, GlaxoSmithKiline gives these guidelines:

  • The LOT code information will be missing from the top of the box
  • The expiration date will include month, day, and year (ie. 20012010). The authentic Alli expiration date includes only the month and year (ie. 01/10)
  • The seal on the bottle should read “SEALED FOR YOUR PROTECTION” in white ink. This statement is not present on the fake product.
  • The capsule size is slightly larger in the fake pills and the contents of the capsules are different – the fake content is powdery while the real product is more of a pellet shape.

If you have any questions or concerns, visit GlaxoSmithKline’s myalli.com to see pictures of the real and fake product. If you think you have purchased the fake Alli, the FDA would like to hear from you by calling 800-551-3989

For up-to-date FDA alerts and prescription drug news, visit www.orderonlinedrugs.com

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