Public urged not to consume slimming products with undeclared Western medicine ingredients
27 May 2010
Members of the public are urged not to buy or consume four slimming products which are found to contain undeclared Western medicine ingredients that may cause serious side-effects.
The products concerned are 苦瓜清脂減肥膠囊, Miyura Fit'x Capsules, and two unknown capsules - an orange and white capsule, and a pearl-white capsule.
Investigations revealed that the products were found to be offered for sale on an Internet website during an investigation into a public enquiry.
Laboratory results on samples of the products showed that all of them contained phenolphthalein and sibutramine.
The spokesman said sibutramine was a Western medicine used as an appetite suppressant. Its side-effects include increased blood pressure and heart rate, psychosis and possibly convulsion. People with heart problems should not take it.
Phenolphthalein was once used for treating constipation but has been banned for its cancer-causing effect.
A product containing sibutramine must be registered before it can be sold in Hong Kong. It can be sold only on a doctor's prescription and dispensed under the supervision of a pharmacist.
The spokesman urged people not to buy or sell products of unknown or doubtful composition.
"The department has stepped up joint efforts with the Police against the illegal sale of pharmaceutical products on the internet," he said.
The spokesman said sale of unregistered pharmaceutical products was an offence under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance.
The maximum penalty is a fine of $100,000 and two years' imprisonment.
People should stop using the products immediately. They should consult a doctor if they feel unwell after taking the products.
They should destroy and dispose of the products or submit them to the department's Pharmaceutical Service at 3/F, Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon, during office hours.
"Weight control should be achieved through good diet and appropriate exercise. They should consult healthcare professionals before using any medication for weight control," the spokesman said.