Members of the public in Singapore are cautioned against buying Nutriline Bluvelle after the weight loss product was found to contain a banned substance, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said on Wednesday (14 June).
The product was marketed as a health supplement for slimming, with claims that it contains natural plant ingredients which are “safe and free of side effects”, the HSA said in the statement.
The HSA said a female in her 20s “experienced rapid heartbeats, anxiety, a drastic decrease in appetite, dizziness and lethargy” after consuming Nutriline Bluvelle. The Authority said these symptoms are common reactions associated with sibutramine, a banned substance.
Sibutramine, which was previously available as a prescription-only weight loss drug, was withdrawn from Singapore since 2010 as it causes an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Other serious adverse effects associated with the use of the substance include high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, hallucinations and mood swings.
The consumer had purchased the product from an online shop based in Malaysia, but HSA has found that it is also sold on several other local and overseas online platforms.
Investigations are ongoing regarding the local sale of the product.
HSA said that sellers must stop selling the product immediately, and warned that it is illegal to sell and supply health products or traditional medicines that contain undeclared potent Western medicines or banned substances.
Anyone who supplies illegal health products is liable to prosecution and if convicted, they may be imprisoned for up to three years and/or fined up to $100,000.
HSA also urged consumers to exercise caution when purchasing health products online, and they are encouraged to visit www.healthdangers.sg to learn more about the dangers of buying health products from dubious sources.