North Carolina Department of Justice
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Cooper urges consumers to claim their refunds

Release date: 5/15/2006

Before you buy or use any product or potion that promises to cure your medical condition or ward off disease, check it out thoroughly. Some dietary supplements and herbal products may be a waste of money while others can have dangerous side effects. These products do not have to be tested or approved by any government agency before they are sold to you. Consider these tips before you decide to purchase a supplement:

  • Many supplements do not back up their claims with factual proof. Glowing testimonials from people who say that the product changed their lives may be exaggerated or untrue.

  • Some supplements may be dangerous and even deadly. Check with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at for warnings and recalls on particular supplements and herbal products.

  • Supplements may interfere with prescription or over-the-counter medicines you are already taking. Check with your doctor or health care professional to learn about possible drug interactions.

  • Just because a product is “natural” does not mean it is safe. A natural product can cause allergic reactions or be toxic in large doses.

  • Steer clear of products marketed as “miracle cures” for cancer, HIV, arthritis or other serious conditions.

  • Consult your doctor or healthcare professional before you begin taking any supplements and inform them of any supplements you are already taking.

  • If you decide to purchase supplements, pay by credit card to improve your chances of being able to get a refund if you aren’t satisfied with the product and the seller goes out of business.

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      See also tips on Weight Loss Claims.