SINGAPORE — The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has issued a warning on three health products sold online and by peddlers, as they contain potent medicinal ingredients that can cause adverse side effects.
In a statement on Tuesday (13 August), the HSA urged members of the public not to purchase or consume “Skinny Lolita” or “Xtreme Candy”, which are sold on multiple e-commerce websites based in Singapore and Malaysia.
The agency also pointed to a third product – unlabelled clear capsules containing dark brown powder – which were sold by a peddler at Redhill Market.
“A woman in her 50s who took the ‘unlabelled capsules’ developed steroid-induced Cushing’s syndrome, a serious medical condition which may cause high blood pressure, decreased immunity, weight gain, and round or ‘moon’ face,” said the HSA, which was alerted to the product by the woman’s doctor.
The capsules were sold in packets of 50 and came with a leaflet printed in Chinese claiming that the product was “100% Herbal” and could treat numerous medical conditions, including chronic diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
However, tests found the product to contain steroids and other potent medicinal ingredients such as diclofenac (a painkiller), and sildenafil (an erectile dysfunction drug).
Banned substance as an ingredient
Meanwhile, a member of the public alerted the HSA to the online sale of “Skinny Lolita”, which was marketed as a traditional “all natural” slimming remedy that contained only plant and herbal extracts.
However, tests showed that it contained sibutramine, a medicine that has been banned in Singapore since 2010 due to it causing an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in consumers.
“Xtreme Candy” was seized from a woman in her 40s who had imported them from Malaysia. The product was packaged and marketed as a candy containing ginseng and other plant ingredients.
In reality, it contained an analogue of tadalafil, a potent prescription-only medicinal ingredient used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Inappropriate use of tadalafil or its analogues can cause serious adverse effects, such as stroke, heart attack, low blood pressure and priapism (painful and exceedingly long erections).
Consumers who have taken any of these products are advised to stop doing so immediately and to see a doctor.
“Be wary of health products that are unlabelled or carry exaggerated claims, such as the ability to treat chronic conditions and diseases. They could potentially contain undeclared potent ingredients, which could be harmful to health. In addition, none of the claims they make can be verified,” added the HSA.
It is illegal to sell and supply adulterated products which contain undeclared potent medicinal ingredients. Anyone who supplies such adulterated products is liable to prosecution and if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to three years, fined up to $100,000, or both.
More Singapore stories: