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Products found to contain undeclared medicines

Singapore: HSA Alert: 'Anyang Herbal' products sold online contained very high levels of banned substance and caused adverse reactions in consumer
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is alerting members of the public not to purchase or consume ‘Anyang Herbal Blue’ and ‘Anyang Herbal Red. Both products were marketed as weight loss products, and were sold online and through direct selling. Although labelled as containing “100% natural ingredients”, they were tested by HSA and found to contain very high levels of a banned substance, sibutramine. In addition, ‘Anyang Herbal Red’ was tested to contain undeclared potent western medicines: diclofenac (a painkiller) and phenolphthalein (a laxative). Pictures of the products and the possible adverse effects of undeclared potent ingredients found in these products can be found at the HSA website.

‘Anyang Herbal Blue’ was also touted to have “no side effects”. Contrary to this claim, a female consumer in her late 20s complained of heart palpitations, nausea, trembling of hands and legs, sweating, insomnia and illusions after consuming it.

HSA’s investigations revealed that the seller (Jessie Cosmetics) sold the products on a social media platform, as well as directly to her friends. HSA had directed immediate cessation of the sale of the product following detection of the undeclared potent ingredients. The seller is currently assisting in HSA’s investigation.

Sibutramine was previously available as a prescription-only weight loss drug but has been withdrawn from Singapore since 2010, due to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Other possible serious adverse effects include high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, hallucinations and mood swings. Based on the labelled dosing instructions of ‘Anyang Herbal Blue’ and ‘Anyang Herbal Red’, a consumer would be consuming as high as eight times the maximum allowable amount of sibutramine per day. These dangerously high levels of sibutramine would predispose consumers to serious adverse effects. In the past, several consumers have reported experiencing hallucinations or hearing voices, palpitations and breathlessness after consuming products containing high levels of sibutramine.

Members of the public are advised to stop taking ‘Anyang Herbal Blue’ and ‘Anyang Herbal Red’ immediately, and consult a doctor if they feel unwell or are concerned about their health.

Please refer to the following website in HSA for details:

In Hong Kong, the above products are not registered pharmaceutical products.

Ends/ Tuesday, March 07, 2017
Issued at HKT 13:00
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