The FDA is warning consumers about a potentially dangerous product marketed as a treatment for a wide range of diseases.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning people not to purchase or drink certain products sold online as a medical treatment for autism, HIV or AIDS, cancer, and other conditions.
The products — known as Miracle or Master Mineral Solution, Miracle Mineral Supplement, MMS, Chlorine Dioxide (CD) Protocol, Water Purification Solution (WPS), among other names — have caused potentially life-threatening side effects, the agency said in a
“Consumers should pay careful attention to FDA warnings when it comes to consuming any product,” said Dr. Teresa Amato, chair of emergency medicine at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills in Queens, New York.
“Currently, Miracle Mineral Solution has absolutely no usage for a medical indication,” she said.
When mixed according to package directions, the products become chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleaching agent.
The FDA said consumers have experienced serious side effects after drinking these products, ranging from severe diarrhea and vomiting, to low blood pressure caused by dehydration.
“The reports are concerning because the substances mentioned have potentially high toxicity when ingested, and have no scientific evidence to support their use to cure any illness,” said Dr. Diane Calello, executive medical director at the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System, part of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
“If you drink concentrated bleach, you can burn your insides and cause a life-threatening injury,” she explained.
In 2010, the FDA issued a similar warning about Miracle Mineral Solution/Supplement.
Over the past five years, poison control centers in the United States have seen more than 16,000 cases related to these products, with 8 deaths, reports NBC News.
Dr. Nicole Berwald, chair of emergency medicine at Staten Island University Hospital in Staten Island, New York, said there have also been “cases reported in the medical literature where serious, life-threatening effects of sodium chlorite toxicity have been described.”
The FDA advises people who have experienced any health problems after ingesting one of these products to seek immediate medical attention.
You should also report it through the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information program as soon as possible at 800-FDA-1088 or on
Calello said consumers should be “wary” of any product — including dietary supplements — that claims to treat disease without having gone through the FDA’s formal review process.
The lack of FDA review “means the labels may be inaccurate, the contents may not be correct or may be misleading, and warnings about adverse reactions may be omitted,” said Calello.
Earlier this year, the FDA issued
The FDA also
Some sellers of unproven treatments, though, are still able to avoid government oversight by selling products as nonmedical products, such as a water purifier in the case of Miracle Mineral Solution.
However, if they cross the line to marketing these products as medical treatments, the FDA can step in.
The federal government successfully convicted a man in Washington State in 2015 for marketing Miracle Mineral Supplement as a “miracle cure.”
In spite of the FDA’s warnings, posts on social media continue to generate a large amount of interest in these and other unproven treatments — driven largely by hope.
“It is understandable that people would want to find a remedy for the devastating conditions these products are advertised to cure,” said Berwald. “However, I would caution people to avoid consuming any substance unless [they’ve been] evaluated by a medical professional, as there could be serious consequences.”
Amato recommends that people seeking nontraditional treatments research the products before ingesting or using them.
“Visit the FDA website and see if there is an approval for the product and what the approved usage is,” said Amato. “In addition, the FDA website will help inform you if there has been any serious concerns regarding consumption of certain products.”
She also suggested that people check with their healthcare provider before starting any new medication, herbal supplement, vitamins, or off-label use of common household products for treating a medical condition or disease.
It’s also important to be cautious about products that sound too good to be true.
“A good rule of thumb,” said Amato, “is to be very wary of anything that has ‘miracle’ in the name.”
Several government websites offer information about medical conditions and treatments, as well as safety warnings and recalls on products.
Food and Drug Administration: Safety information about dietary supplements, as well as warningsabout medications, medical devices, food products, supplements, and tobacco products. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Information about medical conditions and treatments. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: Safety information about a wide range of natural products and alternative medical practices.