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On April 8 2020, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about chlorine dioxide products known as “Miracle Mineral Solution” for prevention and treatment of “Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019” (COVID-19).
The FDA has previously warned consumers not to purchase or drink chlorine dioxide products sold online as medical treatments, as the agency is not aware of any scientific evidence supporting their safety or effectiveness and they pose significant risks to patient health. The FDA is taking this action to protect Americans as part of its response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“Despite previous warnings, the FDA is concerned that we are still seeing chlorine dioxide products being sold with misleading claims that they are safe and effective for the treatment of diseases, now including COVID-19. The sale of these products can jeopardize a person’s health and delay proper medical treatment,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. “We continue to take action and keep up our efforts to monitor for fraudulent treatments during this public health emergency and remind the public to seek medical help from their health care providers.”
Chlorine dioxide products have not been shown to be safe and effective for any use, including COVID-19, but these products continue to be sold as a remedy for treating autism, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and flu, among other conditions, despite their harmful effects.
Life-threatening Adverse Events
The FDA has received reports of people experiencing serious adverse events after drinking chlorine dioxide products, including:
- Respiratory failure caused by a serious condition where the amount of oxygen carried through the blood stream is greatly reduced (methemoglobinemia);
- Changes in the electrical activity of the heart (QT prolongation), which may lead to potentially fatal abnormal heart rhythms;
- Life-threatening low blood pressure caused by dehydration;
- Acute liver failure;
- Low blood cell counts, due to the destruction of red blood cells faster than the body can make it (hemolytic anemia), which required a blood transfusion;
- Severe vomiting; and
- Severe diarrhea.
The FDA is not aware of any scientific evidence supporting the safety or effectiveness of “Miracle Mineral Solution” products, despite claims that the solution has antimicrobial, antiviral and antibacterial properties. The FDA encourages consumers to talk to a health care professional about preventing and treating medical conditions or diseases.
The FDA is particularly concerned that products that fraudulently claim to cure, treat or prevent serious diseases like COVID-19 may cause consumers to delay or stop appropriate medical treatment, leading to serious and life-threatening harm.