The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers and healthcare providers not to use a product called bismacine, also known as chromacine.
The FDA says it is investigating one report of a death and several reports of injury related to the administration of bismacine -- an injectable product that has been used to treat Lyme disease.
FDA officials said bismacine, which is not approved for anything, including Lyme disease, is not a pharmaceutical and is mixed individually by druggists. It is prescribed or administered by doctors of "alternative health" or by people claiming to be medical doctors.
The product contains high amounts of bismuth, a heavy metal that is used in some medications to treat Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers but that is not approved in any form for use by injection.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International