This site is intended for health professionals only

MHRA issues warning over illegal sports supplements

People should be “wary” of buying illegal sports supplements as they may contain dangerous ingredients causing kidney failure, seizures and heart problems.

The warning by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) comes as the London 2012 Olympic Games got underway last Friday (27 July).

All major supplement suppliers have been asked by the MHRA to submit their products for review but the agency has confirmed its focus is on “high risk” substances found to contain Ephedrine, Synephrine and Yohimibine.  

“People need to be aware that buying illegal sports supplements can seriously damage your health,” said David Carter, the MHRA's Manager of the Borderline Medicines Section.

“The products may claim to boost your energy or muscle but they could contain unapproved ingredients that can cause kidney failure, heart problems or seizures.

“We recommend that people only use approved products and speak to a qualified medical practitioner if they have any concerns about any supplements they may be taking.”

A recent MHRA investigation found 84 illegal products such as energy and muscle gain products are being sold containing dangerous ingredients such as steroids, stimulants and hormones.