SINGAPORE - The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has warned the public to steer clear of black pills from Pusat Rawatan Darul Ilaaj (Darul Ilaaj Treatment Centre) after they left a consumer hospitalised.
The affected consumer is a diabetic man in his 50s. He was hospitalised for uncontrolled hypertension and Cushing's syndrome, a metabolic disorder. His condition improved only after he was referred to a specialist and stopped taking the black pills.
The pills, which are labelled as being of herbal origin, are sold for general well-being and also to relieve body aches. Prolonged use can lead to adverse reactions, the HSA said in a statement on Monday (Dec 21).
The pills contain potent western medical ingredients, namely dexamethsone (a steroid) and chlorpheniramine (an antihistamine) , both of which should only be used under medical supervision.
Dexamethsone is usually prescribed for inflammatory conditions. Long-term unsupervised use can lead to Cushing's syndrome, as well as increased blood glucose levels that cause diabetes, high blood pressure, cataracts and muscular and bone disorders.
Chlorpheniramine, which is used for allergic reactions, can cause drowsiness, blurred vision, vomiting and constipation.
The HSA advisedpeople who have consumed these black pills from Pusat Rawatan Darul Ilaaj to consult a doctor immediately.
The authorityalso said people should be wary of health products promising "miraculous results with exaggerated claims".
Those caught selling or distributing the black pills may face a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for a period of up to two years under the Poisons Act if convicted.
The HSA also encouraged people to go to www.healthdangers.sg to learn more about the dangers of buying health products from dubious sources.
People who have any information on the sale and supply of the black pills or other illegal products can contact HSA's Enforcement Branch on 6866-3485 during office hours, Monday to Friday.