WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has warned eight companies to stop marketing “miracle cures’’ that they claim treat everything from autism to Parkinson’s disease by flushing toxic metals from the body.
Regulators say the products, sold over the Internet, can cause dehydration, kidney failure, and death. Known as chelation therapies, the products have been used for decades, although medical societies and government specialists say there is no evidence they cure diseases.
The only FDA-approved chelation therapies are used to treat lead and mercury poisoning.
“These products are dangerously misleading,’’ said Deborah Autor, the FDA’s director of compliance.
The FDA said it has seen an uptick in the number of chelation products sold online.
The companies cited by the agency include World Health Products of Draper, Utah, Cardio Renew of Apple Valley, Minn., and Hormonal Health of San Bernardino, Calif.
The warning letters call on each company to immediately stop marketing and selling the products or face legal action.
FDA officials said at least one death, involving a child with autism, has been reported in connection with the products.