1 Jun 2011
The Department of Health (DH) appealed to members of the public not to buy or consume unknown or doubtful slimming products from the Internet as they may contain undeclared drug ingredients that are dangerous to health.
The appeal followed laboratory test findings revealing that six slimming products, which have been obtained earlier from Internet auction website during DH’s surveillance operation, were found to contain at least one of the following undeclared and banned drug ingredients - sibutramine, phenolphthalein or sibutramine analogue.
The six products were “8 Slimming Effects – All in one (青春少女型)”, “8 Slimming Effects – All in one (貴夫人型)”, “Super Fat Burning Bomb (全身瘦第4代)”, “Super Fat Burning Bomb (修腿第3代)”, “Super Fat Burning Bomb (全身瘦第3代)”, and “Leptin HCA Weight Loss Milk Tea”.
Sibutramine is a Part I poison and was once a western medicine used as appetite suppressant. In November 2010, sibutramine containing products have been banned because of the increased cardiovascular risk. Phenolphthalein was once used for treating constipation but has been banned for its cancer-causing effect.
Sibutramine analogues, being chemically similar to sibutramine, are expected to have similar side effects as sibutramine.
The six products contain banned sibutramine or phenolphthalein and they are not allowed for sale in Hong Kong. Sale of unregistered pharmaceutical product is an offence under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance. The maximum penalty is a fine of $100,000 and two years' imprisonment.
The spokesman exhorted members of the public not to sell products of unknown or doubtful composition.
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.
The spokesman said: "Weight control should be achieved through balanced diet and appropriate exercise. People should consult healthcare professionals before using any medication for weight control."