19 Aug 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 was made after DH received report from the Hospital Authority (HA) that a 21-year-old woman sought medical treatment at the Accident and Emergency Department of United Christian Hospital on August 1 for insomnia and psychiatric symptoms of persecutory delusion and auditory hallucination. The patient was admitted to psychiatric ward for treatment and discharged on August 17.
According to the DH's investigation, the patient had consumed two slimming products, named “US. ALL Nature” and another product in the form of orange-purple capsule, both for several months. Both products were purchased from an Internet auction website several months ago. The relationship of her symptoms with the consumption of the above products requires further investigation.
Laboratory tests conducted by the HA on the product samples submitted by the patient showed the presence of the banned ingredient - sibutramine.
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.
The spokesman exhorted members of the public not to buy products of unknown or doubtful composition. He said: "People should stop using the products immediately. They should consult a doctor if they feel unwell after taking the products.
"Weight control should be achieved through good diet and appropriate exercise. People should consult healthcare professionals before using any medication for weight control,” he added.