Supplements containing cesium chloride linked to heart toxicity, cardiac arrest, arrhythmias and death, FDA warns

The FDA is warning companies to stop the illegal sale of dietary supplements containing cesium chloride, an ingredient associated with “heart toxicity and potential death.”

Warning letters were sent to five companies—American Nutriceuticals, Complete H2O Minerals, Daily Manufacturing, Elemental Research and The Mineral Store, and Essence-of-Life—emphasizing that any products containing this ingredient must include certain safety warnings on the packaging. According to the FDA, none of the companies that received the warning letters were meeting that requirement.  

“The FDA will continue to take action against dietary supplements that contain cesium chloride because of significant safety concerns—including heart toxicity and potential death—associated with this ingredient,” Steven Tave, director of the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs in the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said in a statement. “We take very seriously our role to protect the public from dangerous dietary supplements.”

The agency noted that these dietary supplements are “sometimes promoted as an alternative treatment for cancer”—but no products containing cesium chloride are approved by the FDA to treat “cancer or any other disease.”

In February 2020, the FDA sent out a public health alert warning consumers about dietary supplements that might contain cesium chloride.

The agency also warned healthcare providers about this issue back in July 2018. Seizures, arrhythmias, cardiac arrest, QT prolongation and death were just some of the potential adverse events linked to cesium chloride in that warning. Cardiac arrest and arrhythmias were both linked to at least one death from taking cesium chloride or other cesium salts.