3 products found with undeclared potent medicinal ingredients: HSA

The Health Sciences Authority has warned against consuming (clockwise from left) Skinny Lolita, with the undeclared substance sibutramine; unlabelled clear capsules sold at Redhill market containing dark brown powder with a range of medicinal ingredi
The Health Sciences Authority has warned against consuming (clockwise from left) Skinny Lolita, with the undeclared substance sibutramine; unlabelled clear capsules sold at Redhill market containing dark brown powder with a range of medicinal ingredients; and Xtreme Candy, containing N-desmethyl tadalafil.PHOTOS: HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY

Three products have been found to contain undeclared potent medicinal ingredients, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said in a statement yesterday.

They are: Skinny Lolita, which contains the undeclared substance sibutramine; Xtreme Candy, containing N-desmethyl tadalafil; and unlabelled clear capsules containing dark brown powder with a range of medicinal ingredients.

The former two are sold on e-commerce websites based in Singapore and Malaysia, while the latter is 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 a round or "moon" face. She took the product for three to four months to treat her headache.

Her doctor suspected that the product was adulterated with steroids and alerted HSA.

These unlabelled capsules were sold in packets of 50 by a peddler at Redhill market. The leaflet with the product claimed it was "100 per cent herbal" and could treat medical conditions, including chronic diseases like cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Skinny Lolita was marketed as a traditional "all natural" slimming remedy that contained only plant and herbal extracts. However, tests by HSA proved the presence of sibutramine, a medicine that has been banned in Singapore since 2010 due to the increased risk of heart attacks and strokes it poses.

It was also promoted as the new packaging of Beautea Slim, a product similar to Beautea Slim Fat Burner for Weight Loss, tested by HSA in 2017 to contain sibutramine.

 

Xtreme Candy was seized from a woman in her 40s who had imported it from Malaysia. Marketed as a candy containing ginseng and other plant ingredients, it was tested to contain 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 lead to serious adverse effects like stroke, heart attack, and painful and exceedingly long erections.

HSA has directed the respective local website administrators to remove postings for Skinny Lolita and Xtreme Candy. Malaysian counterparts have also been informed of the product postings for follow-up enforcement actions.

See a doctor immediately if the unlabelled capsules have been consumed. Discontinuing the steroids without proper medical supervision can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms, especially if the product has been consumed for a few weeks.

Consumption of Skinny Lolita and Xtreme Candy should be discontinued immediately. A doctor should be consulted if necessary, HSA said.

Health products should not be bought from unfamiliar sources, even if recommended by friends or relatives. Be wary of unlabelled products or those with exaggerated claims, such as the ability to treat chronic conditions and diseases.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2019, with the headline '3 products found with undeclared potent medicinal ingredients: HSA'. Print Edition | Subscribe