SINGAPORE - Three products have been found to contain undeclared potent medicinal ingredients, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said in a statement on Tuesday (Aug 13).
They are: Skinny Lolita, which contains the undeclared substance sibutramine; Xtreme Candy, containing N-desmethyl tadalafil; and unlabelled clear capsules containing dark brown powder with a range of medicinal ingredients.
The former two are sold on multiple e-commerce websites based in Singapore and Malaysia while the latter is sold by a peddler at Redhill Market.
A woman in her 50s who took the unlabelled capsules developed steroid-induced Cushing's syndrome, a serious medical condition which may cause high blood pressure, decreased immunity, weight gain and a round or "moon" face. She took the product for three to four months to treat her headache.
Her doctor suspected that the product was adulterated with steroids and alerted HSA.
These unlabelled capsules were sold in packets of 50 by a peddler in Redhill market. The leaflet with the product claimed that it was "100% herbal" and could treat numerous medical conditions, including chronic diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Skinny Lolita was marketed as a traditional "all natural" slimming remedy that contained only plant and herbal extracts. However, tests by HSA proved the presence of sibutramine, a medicine that has been banned in Singapore since 2010 due to the increased risk of heart attacks and strokes it poses.
It was also promoted as the new packaging of Beautea Slim, a product similar to Beautea Slim Fat Burner for Weight Loss, previously tested by HSA in 2017 to contain sibutramine.
The third product, Xtreme Candy, was seized from a woman in her 40s who had imported it from Malaysia. Marketed as a candy containing ginseng and other plant ingredients, it was tested to contain an analogue of tadalafil. Tadalafil is a potent prescription-only medicinal ingredient used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
Inappropriate use of tadalafil or its analogues can cause serious adverse effects, such as stroke, heart attack, low blood pressure and painful and exceedingly long erections.
HSA has directed respective local website administrators to remove postings of Skinny Lolita and Xtreme Candy. Malaysian counterparts have also been informed of the product postings for follow-up enforcement actions.
Members of the public should consult a doctor immediately if they have consumed the unlabelled capsules. Discontinuation of the steroids without proper medical supervision can cause serious withdrawal symptoms, especially when the product has been consumed for a few weeks.
Skinny Lolita and Xtreme Candy should be discontinued immediately. A doctor should be consulted if necessary, HSA said.
The public should not purchase health products from unfamiliar sources, even if recommended by close friends or relatives. One should also be wary about unlabelled products or those that carry exaggerated claims, such as the ability to treat chronic conditions and diseases.