FDA Issues Warning About Counterfeit Benzodiazepine Sold Online

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Some of the counterfeit diazepam tablets that were actually haloperidol. Image courtesy of FDA.
Some of the counterfeit diazepam tablets that were actually haloperidol. Image courtesy of FDA.

The FDA has issued a warning about the potential risk of purchasing counterfeit diazepam online. Diazepam (Valium) is a benzodiazepine indicated for the treatment of anxiety and skeletal muscle spasm, and as adjunct in convulsive disorders.

There have been reports of 700 adverse events from patients in Central Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) who took mislabeled diazepam that was actually haloperidol, an antipsychotic. These patients experienced acute dystonia after mistakenly taking haloperidol.

The FDA urges consumers who buy diazepam online to verify whether their pills are authentic. The counterfeit tablets are light yellow, scored across the center of the tablet, and bears "AGOG" on the other side. If the purchased tablets match this description, the consumer should not use it. The FDA warns against online pharmacies that:

  • Allow you to buy drugs without a prescription from your doctor
  • Offer deep discounts or cheap prices that seem too good to be true
  • Send spam or unsolicited email offering cheap drugs
  • Are located outside of the United States
  • Are not licensed in the United States

Reference

Food and Drug Administration. FDA warns consumers who purchase Diazepam online of potentially serious counterfeiting issue. Drug Safety Warning. Last updated July 2, 2015.

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