Public urged not to consume products for managing sexual dysfunction with undeclared drug ingredients
4 Jun 2008
The Department of Health (DH) strongly urged members of the public not to consume products for managing male impotence from unknown sources following notification from the Hospital Authority today (June 4) of two patients seriously affected by this kind of products found to have contained undeclared ingredients.
A DH spokesman said the affected men, aged 76 and 87 respectively, were found collapsed in late May. Both patients once required intensive care in Mainland China and Hong Kong respectively. They are now under treatment in public hospitals. One of them was still in serious condition and the other in stable condition. Their urine specimen found the presence of undeclared drug ingredients glibenclamide and sildenafil.
Investigation showed that both of them had taken a kind of brick red rhomboid tablets. Laboratory tests on the tablets found at their homes were confirmed to have contained glibenclamide and sildenafil.
Further enquiries revealed that the 76-year-old man had also taken an unnamed blue/white capsule while the 87-year-old had taken an unlabelled blue rhomboid drug. Both of these drugs were found to have contained sildenafil.
In the past two weeks, DH received notification of two other similar cases involving patients taking brown rhomboid tablets. They claimed that the drug that they had taken named "Jiu Bian Wang"(九鞭王).
The spokesman said that "Jiu Bian Wang"was not a registered pharmaceutical product in Hong Kong. DH's earlier laboratory tests on "Jiu Bian Wang"revealed the presence of sildenafil and a high dosage of glibenclamide. DH's further investigation into these cases is on-going.
Today's notification brings the number of cases related to unregistered virility products to a total of 58, affecting 56 men aged between 39 and 87. Among them, two patients passed away.
The spokesman said that glibenclamide is a diabetic drug. It could cause nausea and gastro-intestinal upset. Improper use may cause a significant fall in blood sugar level with serious health consequence and even death
The side effects of sildenafil include low blood pressure, headache, vomiting, dizziness, and transient vision disturbances. It may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs (such as nitroglycerin) and may lower blood pressure of patients to dangerous levels. Improper use of sildenafil may pose serious health risks, especially for patients with heart problems.
Under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance of Hong Kong, products containing sildenafil or glibenclamide must be registered before sale and can only be sold on a doctor's prescription and under supervision of a pharmacist.
The spokesman urged the public not to consume virility products of unknown or unclear sources, because the efficacy, safety and quality of such could not be assured, the spokesman said.
"Members of the public and the trade who have in their possession similar products are urged to stop consuming or trading them immediately," he said.
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.
"People who have problems of sexual dysfunction should consult medical professionals for appropriate advice or medication," the spokesman said.