Background: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) oversees the safety of the nation's foods, dietary supplements, and cosmetic products.
Objective: To present a descriptive analysis of the 2004-2013 dietary supplement adverse event report (AER) data from CAERS and evaluate the 2006 Dietary Supplements and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act as pertaining to dietary supplements adverse events reporting.
Methods: We queried CAERS for data from the 2004-2013 AERs specifying at least 1 suspected dietary supplement product. We extracted the product name(s), the symptom(s) reported, age, sex, and serious adverse event outcomes. We examined time trends for mandatory and voluntary reporting and performed analysis using SAS v9.4 and R v3.3.0 software.
Results: Of the total AERs (n = 15 430) received from January 1, 2004, through December 31, 2013, indicating at least 1 suspected dietary supplement product, 66.9% were mandatory, 32.2% were voluntary, and 0.9% were both mandatory and voluntary. Reported serious outcomes included death, life-threatening conditions, hospitalizations, congenital anomalies/birth defects and events requiring interventions to prevent permanent impairments (5.1%). The dietary supplement adverse event reporting rate in the United States was estimated at ~2% based on CAERS data.
Conclusions: This study characterizes CAERS dietary supplement adverse event data for the 2004-2013 period and estimates a reporting rate of 2% for dietary supplement adverse events based on CAERS data. The findings show that the 2006 Dietary Supplements and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act had a substantial impact on the reporting of adverse events.
Keywords: adverse event; dietary supplement; regulation.