Swissmedic warns about dangerous substances in bodybuilding products


Pharmaceuticals for muscle growth that are illegally imported into Switzerland increasingly contain dangerous, undeclared steroid hormones (testosterone and related substances). This is what Swissmedic, the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products, has discovered in its laboratory investigations, and it has issued an urgent warning about ordering and taking products sold on bodybuilder websites.

In addition to the hazardous testosterones, these Internet sites often offer alleged nutritional supplements that are supposed to boost muscle growth. Swissmedic has analysed samples of these products in its own official medicines control laboratory. The results showed that they contain substances that have not been investigated and are related to testosterone. These so-called nutritional supplements therefore fraudulently contain harmful steroid hormones that have not been tested or licensed, either in Switzerland or elsewhere in the world, by a medicines control authority. Besides the fact that taking these products can cause the latent health hazards associated with the misuse of testosterone (such as organ damage, impotence in men, and masculinization in women), the safety and function of these ‘designer steroids' are unpredictable. They are therefore a serious danger to the health of consumers.

Swissmedic also receives reports from other health authorities about hazardous anabolic drugs that are advertised as nutritional supplements. For example, in the USA products were withdrawn from the market over the past few weeks when it was realized that they contained undeclared testosterone. The products were the following:

TREN-Xtreme, MASS Xtreme, ESTRO Xtreme, AH-89-Xtreme, HMG Xtreme, MMA-3 Xtreme, VNS-9 Xtreme, TT-40-Xtreme, Hyperdrol, Bromodrol, Dual Action Grow Tabs, Grow Tabs, Mass Tabs and Ripped Tabs TR.

In addition to the dangers to health from testosterone, some bodybuilder websites also offer fat-burning products containing dinitrophenol (DNP), which has already caused many deaths. Swissmedic urges consumers not to take DNP under any circumstances. According to current medical studies the fatal dose is 1-3 grams but there have also been deaths at lower doses.

Swissmedic recently seized capsules and tablets containing DNP in a house search. Criminal proceedings have been launched against the importer. As part of the international cooperation between medicine control authorities, Swissmedic also passes on the sources of hazardous products to agencies in other countries.