Many Americans have reported experiencing increased levels of anxiety since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. Left untreated, anxiety can lead to a decline in one’s quality of life and result in various physical health problems. For this reason, it is imperative that anyone suffering from anxiety or other mental health disorders speak with their doctor or pharmacist and receive proper medical treatment. Unfortunately, many people opt to use unapproved anxiety medications and later suffer from physical, mental, and other injuries that leave them with permanent damage.
If you believe that your use of an anxiety drug may have exposed you to health risks, you should speak with a California dietary supplement lawyer and explore your legal options.
FDA Issues Warning About Use of Unapproved Drugs to Treat Anxiety
On February 19, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a press release warning that under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, “products intended to cure, treat, mitigate or prevent disease are drugs and are subject to the requirements that apply to drugs, even if they are labeled as dietary supplements.” When it comes to products that have not been approved by the FDA, there are no evaluations with regard to certain factors like:
- Whether the drugs are effective for their intended use.
- The proper dosage.
- How the drugs might interact with FDA-approved drugs.
- Whether there may be side effects or health concerns.
Anxiety Disorders Affect Millions of Americans
While some anxiety might be considered normal, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) maintains that there is a significant difference between anxiety disorders and more normal feelings of nervousness and anxiousness because an anxiety disorder is likely to involve an extreme or excessive degree of fear or anxiety. Moreover, the APA says that “anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders and affect nearly 30% of adults at some point in their lives.” Treatment of anxiety disorders may include medication, therapy, or some combination of both, which have all proven to be effective.
According to the APA, anxiety disorders are more commonly diagnosed in women than in men. Such a diagnosis has two main requirements:
- The anxiety must be out of proportion to the situation or age inappropriate.
- The anxiety must hinder one’s ability to function normally.
False Advertising by Dietary Supplement Manufacturers Exposes Consumers to Health Risks
Numerous dietary supplement manufacturers that market their products online make unfounded claims about their products’ ability to cure, treat, or mitigate anxiety and other mental health issues. This can have serious consequences for anyone who uses these drugs.
According to Steven Tave, Director of the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, “Dietary supplements that claim to cure, mitigate or prevent …mental health disorders are unapproved new drugs that could potentially harm consumers who use these products instead of seeking proven treatments from qualified health care providers.” Tave added that use of unapproved drugs is particularly troubling when it occurs during the COVID-19 pandemic because many consumers are already suffering from depression and other mental health issues.
Contact the California False Advertising Lawyers at Tauler Smith LLP
If you or someone you know is suffering from an anxiety disorder and has taken dietary supplements to treat, cure, or mitigate anxiety, you could be entitled to monetary compensation. The Los Angeles dietary supplement attorneys at Tauler Smith LLP can investigate your case, hold the drug manufacturer accountable, and get you compensated for your injuries. Call us anytime or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation.