Weight Loss Supplement Contains Potentially Dangerous Ingredient for Some

Brian Park, PharmD

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting the public about the presence of sibutramine in the weight loss supplement Alfia Weight Loss Capsules. The product is sold online and may also be available in retail stores.

Sibutramine is a controlled substance that was voluntarily withdrawn from the market in October 2010 after evidence showed a potential risk for serious cardiovascular adverse reactions. Sibutramine significantly increases blood pressure and/or heart rate in some individuals and may pose a significant risk for those with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, or stroke.

Sibutramine produces its effects by norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine reuptake inhibition. Significant life-threatening drug interactions are possible if sibutramine is taken with certain medications, particularly monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

Health care professionals and patients are urged to report adverse events related to Alfia Weight Loss Capsules to the FDA’s MedWatch program.


  1. Public notification: Alfia Weight Loss Capsules contain hidden drug ingredient. News release. US Food and Drug Administration. February 8, 2023. Accessed February 9, 2023. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/medication-health-fraud/public-notification-alfia-weight-loss-capsules-contain-hidden-drug-ingredient.
  2. Meridia. Package insert. Abbott; 2009. Accessed February 9, 2023. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2009/020632s032lbl.pdf.