Supplement linked to acute hepatitis, sudden liver failure

Public health officials recently warned that use of the dietary supplement OxyELITE Pro has been linked to the development of acute hepatitis and sudden liver failure among previously healthy young adults.

Since Sept. 9, the Hawaii Department of Health has reported that 29 of 45 patients diagnosed with acute hepatitis or sudden liver failure had used OxyELITE Pro within 60 days of their diagnosis. The average patient age was 33 years old.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, similar cases have since been reported in other states. Additional clinical and epidemiological investigation is underway.

Clinicians are advised by the CDC to inquire about patients' histories of dietary supplement use when acute hepatitis or sudden liver failure are diagnosed. Clinicians are also urged to report such cases to public health officials or the Food and Drug Administration's online MedWatch program.

Patients have most commonly experienced a loss of appetite, a jaundice appearance and discolored stools and urine before diagnosis. One of the patients died as a result of liver failure and two others received liver transplants.

OxyELITE Pro has been marketed as a dietary supplement that helps individuals lose weight and build muscle. There were no other consistent reports of supplements or medications used by patients prior to falling ill, according to the CDC.