The South Texas law firm of Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales, LLP (HMG) says it is investigating USPLabs, LLC and its popular dietary supplement OxyELITE Pro. The firm, based out of Corpus Christi, recently filed a lawsuit against the company on behalf of a 35-year old client for alleged heart damage resulting from their client taking the supplement OxyELITE Pro.

A recent story in Hawaii News Now[i] references that USPLabs, based out of Dallas, has now announced that it will stop the nationwide distribution of the diet pill in lieu of a staggering number of liver failure cases associated with the supplement.

“USPLabs has known that there is an issue with OxyElite Pro and intentionally failed to properly warn consumers about the catastrophic side effects,” said attorney Bob Hilliard of Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales, LLP. “We’ve been reading reports on this company for months. It started with cases of military personnel dying after taking the supplement.”

On October 8, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it was investigating whether some acute hepatitis cases were linked to OxyELITE Pro.[ii] According to the report in Hawaii News Now, the Hawaii Department of Health states that there have been a total of 29 cases of liver failure and acute hepatitis linked to the dietary supplement in that state[iii].

According to a suit filed in Dallas County, HMG’s client took OxyELITE Pro from March 2012 until February 23, 2013 when she was hospitalized for several days in Arizona for heart damage. Diagnostic tests have revealed that the firm’s client lost 10-20% of her heart function.

“Our client is 35-years old, but since February she has been unable to go back to work and do many of the things she could previously do in her daily routine,” Hilliard said.

OxyELITE Pro contains the drug dimethylamylamine (DMAA). In April 2012, the Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter[iv] to USPLabs stating, “To the best of FDA’s knowledge, there is no history of use or other evidence of safety establishing that dimethylamylamine will reasonably be expected to be safe as a dietary ingredient. In fact, dimethylamylamine narrows the blood vessels and arteries, which increases cardiovascular resistance and frequently leads to elevated blood pressure. This rise in blood pressure may increase the work of the heart such that it could precipitate a cardiovascular event, which could range from shortness of breath to tightening of the chest and/or a possible myocardial infarction (heart attack).”

In a 2011 New York Times[v] article, the United States Army stated that it was investigating whether the supplement played a role in the deaths of two soldiers who died from cardiac arrest. Toxicology reports showed that DMAA was present in their systems at the times of death. According to the story, the army had banned the sale of products with DMAA, including OxyELITE Pro, on any military base.

“This is a dangerous supplement and consumers need to know that they are risking their lives when they ingest OxyELITE Pro,” Hilliard said. “Reality is setting in and people are literally killing themselves to be thin.”

According to the suit filed by HMG, USPLabs failed to sufficiently test OxyELITE Pro and failed to use adequate labeling, instructions and warnings to fully apprize the medical, pharmaceutical and/so scientific communities, users and consumers about the potential risk of serious side effects.

The official website for USPLabs currently has OxyELITE Pro as “out of stock,” but copy on the website calls the dietary supplement “a must-have in any lean work out stack.”

“People take this drug to help them lose weight, not to die,” Hilliard said. “Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales is aggressively looking into this supplement to help make sure that innocent people get justice.”