Three illegal health products from overseas caused patients more health woes

SINGAPORE- All they wanted was pain relief, but three patients who consumed dodgy health products bought overseas wound up in worse health.

The three products Joint-Soft, Kebigutaijiaonang and Pil Raja Urat Asli contained undeclared potent western medicinal ingredients, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) found.

One patient in his 60s consumed Joint-Soft after a friend bought the joint pain medicine from overseas. He suffered from bleeding and wound up in hospital.

Another patient in her 50s gained weight after she consumed Kebigutaijiaonang, which a family member bought from overseas. Her diabetes worsened after she consumed the medicine which purportedly treated joint pain.

A third patient also gained weight after consuming Pil Raja Urat Asli, which she bought overseas, for pain relief.

These three products are not known to be available in Singapore.

"Such illegal health products from illegitimate or unknown sources are generally produced under poor manufacturing conditions with no quality control. The contents can vary significantly from batch to batch," said the HSA.

Those who are consuming these products should consult a doctor as soon as possible before stopping consumption, HSA said. If they stop consuming steroids suddenly without supervision, there might be withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue and low blood pressure, especially when these products have been taken for more than a few weeks.

Consumers should also beware of complementary health products which claim to provide rapid pain relief for gout, arthritis and rheumatism. They should buy health products from reputable pharmacies locally, HSA said.

Those who sell or supply health products containing undeclared potent medicinal ingredients may be fined up to $10,000 and jailed up to two years.