If you’re a millennial who believes in science, then this article isn’t made to be a PSA for you.
Instead, it’s for the older generation who still believes that herbs can cure cancer and that looking at grasses would cure short-sightedness.
And especially to those who anyhowly buy “medicine” that are unlabelled simply because the seller is a sweet talker.
Health Science Authority Issues Warning
In a media release by Health Science Authority (HSA) today (13 August 2019), it’s revealed that a certain peddler in Redhill market was selling this snake oil super pill that purportedly could treat numerous medical conditions, including chronic diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
The pills, which come in packs of 50, are claimed to be “100% herbal” and contained multiple herbal ingredients such as Moringa seeds (“辣木籽”), cordyceps (“冬虫夏草”) and Panax notoginseng flower (“田七花”).
It even came with a dubious leaflet that’s obviously used to scam the elderly.
And unfortunately, while it’s unknown how many people have bought them, a lady in her 50s developed Cushing’s syndrome, a serious medical condition, after taking the product for 3 to 4 months for her headache.
Test Shows the Pills Contained Undeclared Potent Medicinal Ingredients
Firstly, the claims are all a lie: it’s not 100% herbal.
And secondly, it contains six undeclared potent ingredients, namely Amoxicillin, Chlorpheniramine, Diclofenac, Dexamethasone, Prednisolone, Sildenafil.
Now, these are chim ingredients; basically, these ingredients can only be prescribed by a doctor, as they might have side effects. In fact, the last ingredient, Sildenafil, is, well…Viagra. Also, the pills contained steroids: pretty sure you know that’s a big no-no.
The lady in her 50s most probably developed Cushing’s syndrome due to the steroids. Cushing’s syndrome may cause high blood pressure, decreased immunity, weight gain and round or “moon” face.
In other words, please, for the sake of humanity, don’t buy any unlabelled medicines.
Other than the unlabelled pills in Redhill, the HAS also issued a PSA about two products that are sold online in Singapore and Malaysia.
The first is “Skinny Lolita”, a weight-loss pill that contain sibutramine, a banned medicine in Singapore that could increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Just like the unlabelled pills, the product is marketed as “all natural”…when we know it isn’t.
The second product is “Xtreme Candy”. Other than the sin of having a 10-year-old to name the product, it contains tadalafil, yet another potent prescription-only medicinal ingredient used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. As usual, it’s marketed as a candy containing ginseng and other plant ingredients.
HSA has since contacted the websites that sell these products and told them to remove them, and have also informed the Malaysia authorities for them to take action, too.
They have these to say to consumers:
- See a doctor immediately if you suspect that you have taken the ‘unlabelled capsules’ as it contains potent steroids. Discontinuation of steroids without proper medical supervision can cause serious withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, confusion, and low blood pressure, especially when the product has been consumed for more than a few weeks.
- Stop taking ‘Skinny Lolita’ and ‘Xtreme Candy’ immediately and see a doctor if you feel unwell or are concerned about your health.
- Avoid purchasing health products from unfamiliar sources such as street peddlers or unknown sellers on e-commerce platforms and websites, even if they are recommended by close friends or relatives. There is no way to ascertain how these products are made and contrary to their claims to be “100% herbal” or “all natural”, they may contain potent ingredients that can be harmful to health.
- Be wary of health products that are unlabelled 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. Even if the claims that the products are “100% herbal” or “all natural” are true, it does not necessarily mean that the product is safe and of good quality.
Here’s a video by HSA that you should really show to those elderly who anyhowly buy pills:
In the meantime, if you’re someone looking to make a quick buck by selling these illegal pills, do note these:
- It is illegal to sell and supply adulterated products which contain undeclared potent medicinal ingredients.
- Anyone who supplies such adulterated products is liable to prosecution and if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to 3 years and/or fined up to $100,000
If you know anyone who’s selling them, you can do humanity a favour by contacting HSA’s Enforcement Branch at Tel: 6866-3485 during office hours (Monday to Friday) or email [email protected] .
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