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Pain medicine recall: These pain pills have undeclared steroids, so check your bottles

Published Jun 21st, 2022 9:08AM EDT
Customer in pharmacy holding medicine bottle
Image: terovesalainen/Adobe

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a health warning in mid-April concerning Artri King-branded products. The company makes a pain reliever available as a supplement for joint pain and arthritis. However, FDA testing discovered that Artri King products contain hidden drug ingredients, including diclofenac and dexamethasone.

Walmart already recalled Artri King products in late May, and now Latin Foods Market is following suit with a new recall of its own.

Latin Foods Market’s new Artri King recall

Walmart’s joint supplement recall concerned various Artri King products that may contain undeclared diclofenac. The Latin Foods Market recall covers just one Artri King product that can contain both diclofenac and dexamethasone.

The supplement in question is Artri King Reforzado con Ortiga y Omega 3, which was available online and in retail stores nationwide. The pain meds came in 100-count bottles (UPC 7 501031 111138).

Artri King marketed the product as a dietary supplement for the relief of pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and osteoarthritis. However, diclofenac and dexamethasone were not listed among the supplement’s ingredients.

Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that can be useful for managing pain and arthritis. Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid that can reduce inflammation from various conditions, including COVID-19.

However, the presence of these two drugs in the Artri King product from the recall turns the joint supplement into an unapproved drug. The safety and efficacy of the Artri King Reforzado con Ortiga y Omega 3 has not been established, and that’s why Latin Foods Market was forced to issue a recall.

Why diclofenac and dexamethasone can be dangerous

Doctors routinely administer and prescribe these two drugs to certain types of patients. But buyers of the recalled Artri King supplement will consume the NSAID and steroid without knowing the product contains the hidden drugs.

Furthermore, the recall press release explains that consuming undeclared diclofenac can lead to serious adverse effects. People can experience cardiovascular issues, gastrointestinal problems, renal failure, and anaphylaxis. Those at risk include people who take other NSAIDs and/or anticoagulants, people with allergies to diclofenac, and those with certain underlying illnesses.

Latin Foods Market Artri King recall: Retail package.
Latin Foods Market Artri King recall: Retail package. Image source: Latin Foods Market via FDA

Similarly, consuming dexamethasone may lead to severe adverse events. One complication is adrenal suppression, a condition where the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones. This can trigger severe problems, including death.

What you should do

Latin Foods Market says it has received no reports of adverse events related to the Artri King recall. However, the company urges customers to make note of the recall and the FDA warning.

Buyers should discard the recalled product, but only after reviewing the FDA public notification.

Patients using the supplement to treat chronic pain should check with their healthcare provider to determine how to stop the use of the drug safely. The FDA explains that a doctor should assess the risk of corticosteroid withdrawal. Also, healthcare professionals are qualified to evaluate the possibility of adrenal suppression.

The recall announcement does not mention any potential remedies. You can reach out to the company to ask about refunds or replacements. Contact information is available in the announcement at this link.

Also, make sure you check out the recent Walmart recall that covers similar Artri King products.

Finally, you’ll find the FDA’s public notification at this link.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.