Neptune’s Fix products sold nationwide are being recalled because they contain tianeptine — also known as “gas station heroin” — a substance linked to addiction and deadly overdoses.
All of the supplement brand’s products including Neptune’s Fix Elixir, Neptune’s Fix Extra Strength Elixir and Neptune’s Fix Tables are being recalled because they have the ingredient that is not FDA-approved for any medical use, Neptune Resources stated Sunday in its announcement posted by the Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA advises a “reasonable probability of life-threatening events including suicidal ideation or behavior for children, adolescents and young adults 25 and younger,” with further risks including unintentional overdoses, Neptune said.
Distributed to wholesale and retail customers across the country, the recalled products can be identified by the name Neptune’s Fix and its logo, an illustration of the Roman god with a green beard and a trident, according to the Kansas City, Missouri-based company.
Neptune’s Fix Elixir and Extra Strength Elixir sold in amber glass bottles with a label that covers the entire cap/bottle and is perforated at the cap. Neptune’s Fix tablets are packaged in 20-count blister packs held in small boxes or 4-count foil packets.
People who purchased the recalled products should stop using them and either destroy or return the item to the place of purchase. Those with questions can contact Neptune at 816-256- 2071, Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time.
The recall follows multipleabout the Neptune brand as well as others containing tianeptine, with reports of bad reactions involving the drug on the rise in the U.S.
Poison control center cases involving tianeptine topped 150 in 2020 alone, up from 11 cases between 2000 and 2013. Its harmful effects include “agitation, drowsiness, confusion, sweating, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, slowed or stopped breathing, coma and death,” according to the agency.
New Jersey identified two clusters of poisoning cases involving tianeptine “being falsely marketed and sold across the state in gas stations online as a dietary supplement,” its health department warned in November. It also warned of “serious health complications and even death” from its use.
Officials in October became aware of 10 additional tianeptine poisonings in New Jersey, and specifically attributed the cases to products including Neptune’s Fix and Neptune’s Fix Elixir and Pegasus Silver.
More than half of the patients impacted suffered from central nervous system (CNS) depression and seizures after ingestion, with some requiring hospitalization and intubation, the state advisory said. Others came to a hospital with slurred speech, altered mental status, agitation, chest discomfort, tachycardia (fast heart rate), tremors, hallucinations, urinary retention, vomiting and lethargy, it added.
Five lawmakers earlier this month called FDA Commissioner Robert Califf to do more to curtail tianeptine use, noting the agency first warned about the drug in 2018. The agency has received multiple reports of serious medical injuries related to Neptune’s Fix, it told gas stations and convenience stores in January, urging them to stop selling the brand and any other products containing tianeptine.
Approved in some other countries to treat depression and anxiety, Americans turn to tianeptine as an opioid alternative or to self-treat anxiety or depression.