ROCKVILLE, Md., July 31 -- High-strength hydrogen peroxide, which is heavily marketed on the Internet for a diseases ranging from AIDS to emphysema, can cause serious harm or death when ingested, according to a warning issued by the FDA.
The products, marketed by two Texas-based companies under the name "35% Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide," contain a concentration of hydrogen peroxide that is roughly 10 times higher than the concentration sold to disinfect wounds.
Consumers who have used the product should stop immediately and consult physicians, the FDA said.
Steven Galson, M.D., director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said the FDA has never approved this super-concentrated hydrogen peroxide for any purpose.
"No one has presented any evidence that hydrogen peroxide taken internally has any medical value," he said. "In fact, consuming hydrogen peroxide in the manner touted by these websites could lead to tragic results."
The companies warned by the FDA are DFWX of Wolfe City, Tex., and Frad 35, Inc., of Clyde, Tex. The FDA said both companies tout hydrogen peroxide as a natural cure for cancer, AIDS and allergies.
The FDA originally issued a warning about high-strength hydrogen peroxide in 1989 at least one death in Texas and a series of injuries.
Hydrogen peroxide at this concentration is highly corrosive and ingesting it can cause gastrointestinal irritation or ulceration, the FDA warned. The products are also promoted for intravenous use, which can cause inflammation of blood vessels at the injection site, gas emboli, and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions, the FDA said.