‘You have no idea what they’re actually selling you’: Valley father warns against taking supplements after serious illness

The supplement has been rebranded a dozen times. Some stores, including Walmart, have issued voluntary recalls due to potential hidden drug ingredients.

After taking Artri Ajo King supplements for two years in Arizona, USA, Jose Barajas Ochoa thought he was going to die. The 69-year-old felt unwell and was hospitalized several times, but doctors could not find the cause.

“My performance was really bad,” Ochoa told 12News on Thursday. I couldn’t even eat and gained a lot of weight.

Ochos’ health began to deteriorate more than two years ago after he started taking supplements. He was told and saw on the bottle that the supplement contained natural ingredients.

12News first revealed his health status last April.

He had back and neck pain from a previous surgery and recalled feeling better almost immediately after starting the medications in August 2021.

Ochoa said they did help with the pain, but the worst part was what happened later, because I ended up getting really sick. It made me swell from the inside out.

Ochos’ family first noticed inflammation in his face, neck and stomach. From that point on, they began to wonder if something was wrong and took him to the hospital multiple times, but doctors couldn’t diagnose him.

Ochoa had difficulty breathing, inflammation spread throughout her body, her blood sugar levels would fluctuate, and she had severe nausea and blood euphoria issues.

“We thought he wasn’t going to survive,” said Ochoa’s daughter, Patty Reyes, adding that her father also had mood swings.


Even his mood changed. He is very agile. Reyes said it was like you tried to ask him something, but he felt very annoyed and angry at the same time, almost like he was frustrated.

Ochos’ family took him to dozens of doctors over several months. He was eventually diagnosed with Cushing’s disease, which occurs when the body produces too much cortisol.

The diagnosis became clear after Ochoa’s doctor treated several Latino patients with similar symptoms at a local clinic in Bakersfield, California, called Clinica Mi Pueblo.

Ochoa said the clinic’s doctor was the only one who asked him whether he took over-the-counter supplements. According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, in 2006, of the 80 percent of Latino patients who reported using herbal supplements, only 17 percent of doctors asked about it.

Reyes said neither of us knew my father was taking the drug until the doctor asked him certain questions.

Ochoa said a chiropractor in Mexico recommended the supplement to him.

Artri Ajo King is promoted as a natural pill, but since 2012, the FDA has issued a warning about the product.

Through laboratory analysis, the FDA confirmed that Artri Ajo King contains diclofenac, but it is not listed on the product label. Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, commonly known as an NSAID. The agency says NSAIDs may increase the risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke.

These hidden ingredients can also cause serious gastrointestinal damage, including bleeding, ulcers and fatal gastrointestinal perforation, the FDA said. The supplement may also interact with other medications and significantly increase the risk of adverse events, such as liver toxicity and even death.

The FDA said the supplement has been renamed more than a dozen times, with other names including AK Forte, Reumo Flex, Reumofan Plus, Ortiga Ajo Rey and KUKA Flex Forte.

“To support public safety, the FDA is issuing warning letters to Amazon, Walmart, and Latin Foods Market for distribution of various unapproved and misbranded Atri and Ortiga drug products because some of these products may still be on the market,” the FDA said.

Walmart and Latin Food Market are voluntarily recalling these supplements. But many can still be found in local stores. 12News found some at a local herbal store in Phoenix for $30.


The father said that even after diagnosis and a treatment plan, his condition worsened.

The drug also caused my diabetes and thyroid problems, Ochoa said. I’ve been on medication for both of these things for a long time and now don’t have thyroid issues or diabetes.

Ochoa believed she was dying, but has since fully recovered and advises people not to take supplements.

You don’t know what they’re actually selling you or what’s included in it, he said. It is best not to take any medication if it has not been prescribed by your doctor. Who makes them? no one knows. Where are they made? No one knows either. They changed the name and the same formula.

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