HSA warns people not to consume 'candy' containing erectile dysfunction drug

The products are (clockwise from left) Miracle Gold Candy, C4 Candy and Coco Hotz Cocoa Drink. PHOTOS: HSA

SINGAPORE - The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has warned people not to buy or consume three products sold on e-commerce platforms, two of which are marketed as sexual enhancement candies but contain potent medicinal ingredients.

The products are Miracle Gold Candy and C4 Candy which contain tadalafil - an erectile dysfunction medicine- and Coco Hotz Cocoa Drink which contains dexamethasone - a potent steroid.

They were being sold on e-commerce platforms, such as Carousell, Lazada, Shopee and Qoo10, and social media platforms Facebook and Instagram.

HSA said on Friday (Oct 8) that it has worked with the platform administrators to remove the affected listings and has issued warnings to the sellers.

Officers from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) alerted HSA to Miracle Gold Candy after detecting imports of the product.

HSA was alerted to C4 Candy by a member of the public who was suspicious of the product.

The products' labels carried exaggerated claims that are not expected to be present in candy products, such as "increase the strength and health of men" for Miracle Gold Candy, and "prevent premature ejaculation" and "help those with gout, diabetes and high blood pressure" for C4 Candy.

Both products were tested by HSA to contain tadalafil, a prescription medicine used to treat erectile dysfunction.

In particular, Miracle Gold Candy contained more than 30 times the usual daily dose of tadalafil.

This can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack significantly, said HSA.

The third product, Coco Hotz Cocoa Drink, was found to tout slimming claims such as "burn fat quickly" and "control appetite".

The product was tested by HSA and found to contain dexamethasone, a potent steroid.

Long-term unsupervised use of steroids can cause serious side effects including increased blood glucose levels, which may lead to diabetes, and Cushing's syndrome -a round face or "moon face" appearance and upper body obesity with thin limbs and other associated medical conditions such as hypertension, said HSA.

The authority advised consumers to stop taking C4 Candy and Miracle Gold Candy immediately and consult a doctor if they feel unwell or are concerned about their health.

It also urged consumers to see a doctor as soon as possible if they have taken Coco Hotz Cocoa Drink as it contains a potent steroid.

Discontinuation of steroids without proper medical supervision can cause serious withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, confusion and low blood pressure, it said.

It warned consumers to be wary of products that carry exaggerated claims or deliver unexpectedly quick effects as they can contain potent ingredients that can seriously harm their health.

HSA added that all retailers and suppliers must stop selling these products immediately.

It said that it would not hesitate to take stern enforcement actions against anyone who sells and supplies products found to be adulterated with potent medicinal ingredients.

Sellers and suppliers are liable to prosecution and if convicted, may be jailed for up to two years or fined up to $10,000, or both.

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