Three health products sold online and by peddlers have been found to contain prescription drugs that can cause adverse effects, according to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA).
In a statement, the HSA has urged people not to purchase or take “Skinny Lolita” or “Xtreme Candy,” which are available on multiple e-commerce websites based in Malaysia and Singapore. Apart from these products, the agency pointed out that there is a third product available in the form of capsules with dark brown powder in them, which is also tainted with prescription drugs.
The HAS said, “A woman in her 50s who took the ‘unlabeled capsules’ developed steroid-induced Cushing’s syndrome, a serious medical condition which may cause high blood pressure, decreased immunity, weight gain, and round or ‘moon’ face, which was alerted to the product by the woman’s doctor.”
The capsules were sold in unlabeled packets of 50, which came with a leaflet printed in Chinese, claiming that it was “100% Herbal” and could treat various diseases, including cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Tests found that these products contained steroids and other drugs such as diclofenac (a pain reliever) and sildenafil citrate (an erectile dysfunction drug).
Skinny Lolita, which is marketed as a traditional “all-natural” slimming remedy containing only plant and herbal extracts, has been found to contain sibutramine, a drug that has been banned in Singapore since 2010 because of its potential risk of causing heart attacks and strokes.
Xtreme Candy, which claims to contain ginseng and other plant ingredients, was found to contain a prescription erectile dysfunction drug tadalafil. Inappropriate use of tadalafil could increase the risk of adverse effects such as a stroke, heart attack, or a prolonged erection.
The HSA has warned people to stop buying and using such products. If you have used any of them, immediately see your doctor.
“Be wary of health products that are unlabeled or carry exaggerated claims, such as the ability to treat chronic conditions and diseases. They could potentially contain undeclared potent ingredients, which could be harmful to health. In addition, none of the claims they make can be verified,” said the Ministry of Health of the Singapore Government. Selling adulterated products that contain undeclared drugs is illegal and anyone who supplies such products is liable to prosecution. If convicted, they may be imprisoned for up to three years, or a fine of $100,000, or both.