A product marketed as a remedy for joint pain has been found to contain several ingredients which could cause kidney, liver, and heart damage.
The product, called Herbal Health Jointcare, claims to be made from natural herbs without any steroids. However, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) found that it contains five undeclared ingredients, including a steroid.
The presence of the steroid, said the HSA, means that consumers should not immediately stop consuming the supplement as it could lead to withdrawal symptoms, such as confusion and low blood pressure. Instead, consumers are advised to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
The supplement is sold by Ace Nutrition International over the Internet and from its premises along Kallang Pudding Road. The HSA has since seized the product from the company and stopped all sales.
In a statement on Tuesday, the HSA said it was alerted to the problem when it received two reports of rapid pain relief associated with use of the product.
The first report was made by a woman in her 60s who took the tablets to relieve pain in her joints and frozen shoulder. She is now under review by her doctor for potential liver injury which may have resulted from consuming the product.
The second report was lodged by a man after he became suspicious of the rapid pain relief that the product provided to his mother after she took it for a week.
Anyone found guilty of selling complementary health products containing Western medicinal ingredients faces a fine of up to $10,000, up to two years' jail, or both.
Members of the public who have information on the sale of Herbal Health Jointcare or other illegal products can contact the HSA's enforcement branch on 6866-3485 or email it at email@example.com.