FDA Warns Against Toxic 'Medicated Oil'

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers not to purchase or use a product called Arrow Brand Medicated Oil & Embrocation. The product is potentially toxic and contains two substances, methyl salicylate and camphor, that are poisonous when ingested, the agency said in a statement.

The product is also labeled as Aceite Medicinal La Flecha (Spanish) or“箭嘜驅風油 (Chinese). It is sold primarily on the Internet and in specialty stores that serve Asian and Latino communities. 

Methyl salicylate and camphor also may be poisonous when applied to a large area of the skin, or when combined with heat to increase absorption of the active ingredients. Children are particularly susceptible to poisoning from these ingredients.

Symptoms of poisoning from these ingredients could include: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, visual changes, dizziness and mental confusion. Some cases of accidental overdose of methyl salicylate and camphor have been fatal.

FDA preliminary testing on product samples also revealed a compound that appears to be diethylene glycol (DEG), an ingredient used in antifreeze, which may be toxic if ingested. Further testing is needed to confirm the presence of DEG.

The FDA is asking retailers to remove the product from store shelves.

Live Science Staff
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