Agency says companies in several states are charging thousands of dollars for treatments with no proven clinical benefit.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a warning to consumers regarding firms that claim to be able to prevent aging and memory loss by infusing people with plasma obtained from young human donors. Each infusion can cost thousands of dollars, and the agency says the establishments, which can be found in several states, have provided no proof of any clinical benefit.
In addition to aging and memory loss, many of these organizations claim that their blood transfusions can also treat a variety of diseases, including dementia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and post-traumatic stress disorder.
In a statement, the FDA noted: “The dosing of these infusions, which can involve large administered volumes, is also not guided by evidence from adequate and well controlled trials. In addition, the infusion of plasma can be associated with infectious, allergic, respiratory, and cardiovascular risks, among others. In some individuals, particularly those with preexisting heart disease, the infusion of plasma can cause overload of the circulatory system leading to swelling of the body and difficult breathing.”
The agency advised health care providers to become familiar with the acceptable indications for the administration of plasma outlined in the FDA-recognized Circular of Information for the Use of Human Blood and Blood Components published by AABB.