SINGAPORE - The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has sounded the alarm on two health products obtained from Malaysia after two people in Singapore developed medical problems after taking them. One of the consumers was even admitted to intensive care.
The two products concerned are Ausbee Australia Ausbee Herbal Powder Capsules and Shen Loon She Edoly Capsule, said HSA on Monday (May 14).
The products were taken by the consumers for pain relief.
The HSA said that the products are illegal and contain undeclared prohibited Western medicinal ingredients.
The consumer who was admitted to intensive care was a woman in her 70s. She had been taking Ausbee Australia Ausbee Herbal Powder Capsules for about two years to relieve back pain and for general well-being.
After undergoing surgery for a fracture, she was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) in March for post-surgery complications arising from the potentially life-threatening side effect of long-term steroid use, said HSA.
This resulted in a severe drop in her blood pressure, which was subsequently traced to the consumption of dexamethasone, a steroid present in Ausbee Herbal Powder Capsules.
In addition to the steroid, the product was adulterated with antibiotics, a painkiller and an anti-allergy drug which can cause adverse reactions and drug interactions, said HSA.
The woman has since been discharged from hospital.
A man in his 60s had taken Shen Loon She Edoly Capsule for almost a decade to relieve joint pain.
He developed Cushing's syndrome, a condition caused by long-term consumption of steroids. Symptoms include skin thinning, large purplish bruises on the skin, high blood pressure and elevated blood glucose level.
He is currently being treated for the condition.
The HSA has advised members of the public not to purchase or consume the two products. Consumers who have taken this product are advised to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Sellers and suppliers must stop selling the two products immediately, HSA added.
It advises consumers to be wary of health products that promise or produce quick and miraculous results for chronic conditions.
Such products may contain potent or banned ingredients, or hidden prescription medicine which should be taken only under medical supervision, it added.
HSA also said: "Be cautious when purchasing health products from unfamiliar sources or overseas, even if they are recommended by friends or relatives. No one can be certain what these products contain, and where and how they were made."
Anyone who supplies illegal health products is liable to prosecution. If convicted, they can be jailed for up to three years and/or fined up to $100,000.