Hidden Drugs Found in Supplements Promoted for Musculoskeletal Conditions

Products marketed with the names “Artri” or “Ortiga” may contain hidden active drug ingredients that may pose a health risk to patients, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Agency has determined that Artri Ajo King, Artri King, Ortiga Mas Ajo Rey, and Ortigo Mas Ajo Rey Extra Forte all contain undeclared drug ingredients that may vary in potency from product to product or lot to lot. Laboratory analyses revealed that these products contain active drug ingredients, including dexamethasone (a corticosteroid), diclofenac sodium (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug), and methocarbamol (a muscle relaxant). 

The supplements were found to contain undeclared drug ingredients, from L to R: Artri Ajo King, Artri King, Ortiga Mas Ajo Rey, and Ortigo Mas Ajo Rey Extra Forte.

The products, which are sold online and in retail stores, are being promoted as treatments for arthritis, muscle pain, osteoporosis, bone cancer and other conditions. Adverse events, including liver toxicity and death, have already been reported with the use of Artri King products.

The FDA recommends that health care providers evaluate patients who have used Artri and Ortiga products for drug and disease interactions. Adverse events related to these products should be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch program.

Investigation into the distribution of Artri and Ortiga products in the US is ongoing.


FDA warns consumers not to purchase or use Artri and Ortiga products, which may contain hidden drug ingredients. News release. April 20, 2022. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-warns-consumers-not-purchase-or-use-artri-and-ortiga-products-which-may-contain-hidden-drug