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November 14, 2012 / Steven Soliman

Redline Energy Drink: Unfit for Human Consumption?

A class-action lawsuit was filed on October 23, 2012 against the maker of the VPX Redline energy drink, Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc., alleging that the product causes sickness and is marketed deceptively. The class representative, Texas resident Adam Mirabella, is said to have bought a bottle of watermelon flavored Redline last July, and after drinking one serving he “suffered extreme chest pain that felt like a heart attack, he lost sensation in his hands, and he had extreme nausea.” As a result, Mirabella was hospitalized and required sedation for the two days after drinking the product. The lawsuit also alleges that the font size on the nutrition label used was smaller than that required by the Food and Drug Administration, making it very difficult to read all of the caffeine-containing compounds. These ingredients, according to the lawsuit, “are notable for the adverse effects they cause to humans that go well beyond the goal … of energy enhancement.”

The most concerning of these ingredients used to make VPS Redline is called Yohimbine. In fact, Yohimbine is listed in the “FDA Poisonous Plants Database.” The California Poison Control System lists Yohimbine as a toxic plant with a rating of 4 which means, “Major: Ingestion of these plants, especially in large amounts, is expected to cause serious effects to the heart, liver, kidneys, or brain. If ingested in any amount, call the poison center immediately.” Some researchers say that consumers should beware of the plant ingredient, and list the side effects as “anxiety, excitation, nausea, insomnia, headaches, and blood pressure fluctuations … [and] hypertensive crisis.” The use of Yohimbine has been attributed to weight loss, though it is dangerous and there is limited evidence that it is effective.

Additionally, a Web-MD search explains that “taking high doses can also cause other severe problems, including difficulty breathing, paralysis, very low blood pressure, heart problems, and death. After taking a one-day dose of Yohimbine, one person reported an allergic reaction involving fever; chills; listlessness; itchy, scaly skin; progressive kidney failure; and symptoms that looked like the auto-immune disease called lupus.”

The complaint argues that even though Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc. had knowledge of these ingredients and their effects, it continued to market and sell the product without an adequate warning, and without attempting to modify the product and make it safe for human consumption.

If you or a loved one feels they have been injured by deceptive sales practices, please contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential evaluation of your rights.

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