ROCKVILLE, Md. -- The FDA said today it has had reports of Americans needing emergency medical treatment after taking what's been identified as the antipsychotic drug haloperidol sent by shady Internet sites instead of the drugs that were ordered.
ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb. 16 -- The FDA said today it has had reports of Americans needing emergency medical treatment after taking what's been identified as the antipsychotic drug haloperidol sent by shady Internet sites instead of the drugs that were ordered.
The emergency treatment was for symptoms such as difficulty breathing, muscle spasms, and muscle stiffness, said the FDA, after the consumers took drugs they received in packages postmarked in Greece.
The FDA said the products, identified by a preliminary analysis as haloperidol, were sent to consumers who ordered Ambien (zoldipem), Xanax (alprasolam), Lexapro (esctitalopram), or Ativan (lorasepam).
The agency has previously warned consumers about dangers associated with Internet sales of prescription drugs, but it said the problem with haloperidol was a new wrinkle. Haloperidol, marketed under the brand name Haldol, is indicated for treatment of schizophrenia, mania, and Gilles de la Tourette syndrome.
The FDA said it learned about "the mislabeled and potentially dangerous products after their recipients complained to a U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturer."
The agency said it has been frustrated in its attempts to identify specific vendors "because of the deceptive practices of many commercial outlets on the Internet."
Photographs of the tablets in question and the shipping packages can be seen by clicking here.
Consumers who have received similar tablets from online vendors should not take the drugs and should notify their physicians as well as the FDA. Such reports can be submitted to the FDA by clicking here.