News from the FDA/CDC

FDA issues public health warning recommending against cesium salt usage


The Food and Drug Administration has issued a public health alert warning consumers to avoid the use of dietary supplements that contain cesium chloride or any other cesium salt because of significant safety risks.

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Cesium salts are sometimes advertised as an alternative treatment for cancer, the FDA said in the announcement, but these salts have never proved to be safe or effective at treating cancer or any other disease. Clinical case reports and nonclinical trials have shown that cesium salts are associated with a variety of adverse events, including cardiac arrhythmias, hypokalemia, seizures, syncope, and death.

The FDA warned health care providers that cesium salts presented a significant safety risk in compounding drugs in July 2018.

Health care providers should not recommend dietary supplements containing cesium salts to their patients, the FDA said, and if a patient experiences an adverse event while taking a supplement containing cesium salt, the event should be reported to the agency.

While there are few dietary supplements on the market that contain cesium salt, consumers should be aware of the risks and avoid these products. The FDA noted that “if claims sound too good to be true, they probably are.”

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