Hypertensive Retinopathy Associated With Use of the Ephedra-Free Weight-Loss Herbal Supplement Hydroxycut

Scott L. Willis, MD; Fouad J. Moawad, MD; Joshua D. Hartzel; Melissa Iglesias, DO; William L. Jackson, MD


September 28, 2006


The annual prevalence of dietary supplement use in the United States increased from 14.2% in 1998-1999 to 18.8% in 2002.[14] As the use of these products increases, more cases associated with serious side effects will be recognized. The newer ephedra-free products have been associated with hepatotoxicity, dysrhythmias, and ischemic stroke, and now malignant hypertension and hypertensive retinopathy can be added to that list.[4,5,6,12] Given the lack of controlled studies with regard to their safety and efficacy, judicious care should be taken with the use of all herbal supplements, including those deemed ephedra-free.

The opinions or assertions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be construed as reflecting the views of the US Department of the Army or Department of Defense.


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