Popular Diet Drug Linked to Liver Damage – FDA Recalls Hydroxycut

Author: Attorney Jason W. Konvicka

On May 1, 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued a warning letter recommending that consumers immediately stop using the popular weight loss supplement Hydroxycut. In addition, the FDA requested that Iovate Health Sciences, Inc., the manufacturer of Hydroxycut, recall various versions of the product completely from the marketplace. The warning letter by the FDA was in response to reports of serious health problems experienced by consumers taking the recommended doses.

To date, the FDA has received at least 23 reports of adverse liver effects in users of Hydroxycut products including jaundice, elevated liver enzymes, liver damage, and liver transplants. One 19 year old user died as a result of liver damage. The FDA has also identified other non-liver related events that might be linked to the ingredients in Hydroxycut. These include cases of seizures, rhabdomyolysis (a type of muscle damage that can lead to other serious health problems such as kidney failure), and heart-related disorders ranging from palpitations to heart attacks.

Hydroxycut products are marketed as dietary supplements. Because Hydroxycut products are not classified as drugs, they do not require FDA testing and approval before they are produced and sold to the public. They are also not monitored as closely as prescription medications after they are introduced to the marketplace.

Hydroxycut is manufactured Iovate Health Sciences, Inc., and is distributed under the Iovate and Muscletech brand names. Iovate Health Sciences, Inc. is based in Ontario, Canada. Hydrocut is sold primarily through pharmacies and grocery stores. About 9 million packages of Hydroxycut products were reportedly sold during 2008 alone.

Symptoms of liver failure include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), brown urine, nausea, vomiting, light colored stools, excessive or unusual fatigue, weakness, stomach pain, itching, and loss of appetite.

The public is advised to promptly consult a physician or other health care provider if they experience symptoms potentially associated with these products. In addition, if you have been taking one or more Hydroxycut products and have been diagnosed by your doctor with liver damage, you may have a valid legal claim. The attorneys at Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen have experience representing people injured by dangerous products and are available to discuss your potential case.

The list of products being recalled by Iovate currently includes:


  • 631656893649 Hydroxycut 140ct Cap US
  • 631656833621 Hydroxycut 60 GNC US
  • 631656600988 Hydroxycut 300ct Caplets US
  • 631656890129 Hydroxycut 36ct Cap US “with CARDS”
  • 631656282245 Hydroxycut 160ct Cap US *Discontinued*
  • 631656873214 Hydroxycut 58ct Cap US
  • 631656813418 Hydroxycut 70ct Cap US
  • 631656808612 Hydroxycut 70ct Caps US *Discontinued*
  • 631656808117 Hydroxycut 100 cap US *Discontinued*
  • 631656818642 Hydroxycut 140ct Cap US *Discontinued*
  • 631656882414 Hydroxycut 80ct Caps US *Discontinued*
  • 631656843262 Hydroxycut 210ct Cap US
  • 631656828665 Hydroxycut 210 cap US *Discontinued*
  • 631656600582 Hydroxycut 60ct + 1 Hydroxycut Sachet WB US
  • 631656600476 Hydroxycut 72ct + Hydroxycut Sachet WB US
  • 631656600483 Hydroxycut 100ct Caplets US
  • 631656600506 Hydroxycut 150ct Caplets US
  • 631656601251 Hydroxycut 170 Caplets US
  • 631656600452 Hydroxycut 30ct Caplets US


  • 631656600650 Hydroxycut Hardcore 120ct US
  • 631656600834 Hydroxycut Hardcore 210ct US
  • 631656001778 Hydroxycut Hardcore 30ct US
  • 631656601435 Hydroxycut Hardcore 252ct US
  • 631656601848 Hydroxycut Hardcore 30ct US Trial – Bodybuilding.com
  • 631656601749 Hydroxycut Hardcore 120ct US NEW
  • 631656601763 Hydroxycut Hardcore 252ct US
  • 631656601756 Hydroxycut Hardcore 210ct US NEW


  • 631656801224 Hydroxycut Caffeine Free 140ct Cap US
  • 631656821246 Hydroxycut Caffeine Free 330ct Cap US
  • 631656801217 Hydroxycut Caffeine Free 100ct Cap US
  • 631656801231 Hydroxycut Caffeine Free 58ct Cap US
  • 631656899122 Hydroxycut Caffeine Free 36ct Cap US
  • 631656600544 Hydroxycut Caffeine Free 60ct US
  • 631656600551 Hydroxycut Caffeine Free 72ct US
  • 631656600568 Hydroxycut Caffeine Free 100ct US


  • 631656601466 Hydroxycut Max 120ct bonus + 1Hyd Max Sachet WB US
  • 631656601633 Hydroxycut Max 210ct Bonus + 1 Hyd Max Sachet WB US


  • 631656860191 Hydroxycut Weight Loss Drink Mix 21pk Sachet – Wild Berry US
  • 631656860313 Hydroxycut Weight Loss Drink Mix 21pk Sachet – Country Lemonade US


  • 631656701326 Hydroxycut Hardcore Drink Mix 2.7g Sachet – Blue Raspberry US
  • 631656701319 Hydroxycut Hardcore Drink Mix 2.6g Sachet – Fruit Punch US
  • 631656760118 Hydroxycut Hardcore Drink Mix 40pk x 2g Sachet – Fruit Punch US
  • 631656760125 Hydroxycut Hardcore Drink Mix 40pk x 2g Sachet – Blue Raspberry US


  • 631656760095 Hydroxycut Caffeine Free Drink Mix 21pk x 3.6g Sachet – Raspberry Ice US


  • 631656860375 Hydroxycut Max Drink Mix 40pk x 2.4g Sachet – Wild Berry US
  • 631656860382 Hydroxycut Max Drink Mix 40pk x 2.7g Sachet – Lemonade US


  • 631656800159 Hydroxycut Weight Loss Single Shot 2oz – Wild Berry US
  • 631656860207 Hydroxycut Weight Loss Shot 2 x 2oz Pk – Wild Berry US
  • 631656860498 Hydroxycut Instant Weight Loss Shot 12 x 2oz – Wild berry US


  • 631656601855 Hydroxycut Max Aqua Shed 60ct Capsules US


  • 631656860436 Hydroxycut Hardcore 4 x8oz RTD – Grape Infusion US
  • 631656860399 Hydroxycut Hardcore 4 x 8oz RTD – Triple WildBerry US
  • 631656860665 Hydroxycut Hardcore 12-pack RTD – Grape Infusion US
  • 631656860467 Hydroxycut Hardcore 3 x 4-pack RTD – Grape Infusion US
  • 631656860443 Hydroxycut Hardcore 3 x 4-pack RTD – Triple Wildberry US
  • 631656860443 Hydroxycut Hardcore 3 x 4-pack RTD – Triple Wildberry US
  • 631656860568 Hydroxycut Hardcore 12-pack RTD – Triple Wildberry US


  • 631656600933 Hydroxycut 24 (96 caps/ blister pack) US


  • 631656800036 Hydroxycut Carb Control 58ct Cap US
  • 631656800029 Hydroxycut Carb Control 100ct Cap US
  • 631656800012 Hydroxycut Carb Control 140ct Cap US


  • 631656600889 Hydroxycut Natural 100ct US

On May 7, 2009, the following Hydroxycut products were added to the recall list:

  • 631656800265 Hydroxycut Hardcore 8 fl. oz. Grape Explosion
  • 631656800210 Hydroxycut Hardcore 8 fl. oz. Triple Wildberry
  • 631656001501 Hydroxycut 280ct-3 Pak Kit *Discontinued*
  • 631656001563 Hydroxycut 280ct-6 Pak Kit *Discontinued*
  • 631656000658 Hydroxycut 100ct-6 month supply (7 bottles+ 4 free) Kit
  • 631656600896 Hydroxycut 2x60ct Club Pack US Kit
  • 631656000672 Hydroxycut 100ct-1 month supply (1 bottle+1 free) Kit *Discontinued*
  • 631656874693 Hydroxycut 58 cap 12-pack Target US Kit *Discontinued*
  • 631656000665 Hydroxycut 100ct-3 month supply (4 bottles+2 free) Kit *Discontinued*
  • 631656002362 Hydroxycut Sachet Twin Pack US Kit
  • 631656860498 Hydroxycut Instant Weight Loss Shot 12 x 2oz – Wild berry US Kit
  • 631656660623 Hydroxycut Hardcore Shredded Stack Kit120ct
  • 631656500585 Hydroxycut 60 Rapid Release Caplets

About the Author: Jason Konvicka is a personal injury lawyer in the Richmond office of Allen & Allen. In addition to being a member of the firm’s Medical Malpractice team, he has handled serious and complex injury cases involving wrongful death, traumatic brain injury, hypoxic brain injury, spinal cord injury, complex regional pain syndrome, tractor trailer accidents, drowning, defective products, dangerous premises, building and safety code violations, and drunk driving accidents.