[Editor’s Note: The video above is about a Northeast Ohio mom who lost 4 limbs due to flu complications.]
(WJW) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning people of fraudulent flu products that claim to prevent, mitigate, treat, or cure the flu, even though they have not been evaluated by the FDA.
These products, experts warn, are being sold online, including in popular marketplaces, and even retail stores.
According to the FDA, unproven products may be labeled as dietary supplements, foods, hand sanitizers, nasal sprays, or other devices.
In a warning posted to the FDA website, officials said there are no “legally marketed” drugs sold over the counter that “prevent, treat or cure the flu.” However, there are non-prescription drugs that can help alleviate symptoms typically associated with the flu, like fever, congestion and muscle aches.
“The ingredients in fraudulent products could lead to unexpected side effects and interactions with other medications people may be taking,” reads the warning. “The FDA is particularly concerned that fraudulent products might cause people to delay, forgo or stop the medical treatment they need, leading to serious and life-threatening harm.”
So here is what you should watch out for, especially in the fall and winter flu season:
Be aware of products that claim to:
- Reduce the severity and length of flu or other viral infections
- Boost your immunity naturally without a flu vaccine
- Act as a safe and effective alternative to the flu vaccine
- Prevent catching the flu or viral infections
- Be an effective treatment for flu or viral infections
- Provide faster recovery from the flu or viral infections
- Support your body’s natural immune defenses to fight off flu or other viruses
According to the FDA, customers may see products being sold at their pharmacy or online that are advertised as “homeopathic.” The FDA said they are not aware of any proven benefits of these products.
In addition, the FDA warns that while legitimate online pharmacies do exist, many websites that appear safe are engaging in illegal activity and may be selling unapproved drugs that could be dangerous.
The FDA adds that the flu vaccine remains the “best way to prevent this infectious disease and its serious complications.”
Read more here.