HSA warning on 3 health items

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has warned the public against three health products found to contain ingredients that can cause serious adverse reactions. The products are Huo Xue Qing Gan Jie Du Wan and Huang Niu Mu Shi Ni De Jiu Xing, which claim to treat various chronic ailments such as arthritis, diabetes and stroke, as well as Meizitang Botanical Slimming 100% Natural Soft Gel.

All three were either bought overseas or from online platforms, the HSA said in a press release yesterday, and each did not carry any list of ingredients.

But dexamethasone - a potent steroid usually prescribed for inflammatory conditions - and chlorpheniramine, an antihistamine used to relieve allergic reactions, were found in Huo Xue Qing Gan Jie Du Wan. A man in his 40s was hospitalised for Cushing's syndrome, characterised by upper body obesity with thin limbs, joint pain and insomnia, after consuming it.

Huang Niu Mu Shi Ni De Jiu Xing was also found to contain dexamethasone. Meanwhile, the Meizitang gel was found to contain diclofenac, a potent painkiller.

Lee Min Kok

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2016, with the headline 'HSA warning on 3 health items'. Print Edition | Subscribe