27 September 2012
The Department of Health (DH) today (September 27) appealed to members of the public not to buy or consume an oral product called "Long Ren Tang Fu She Gu Rang Jiao Nang", as it may contain undeclared Western drugs that are dangerous to health.
The appeal followed the DH's receipt of notification from the Hospital Authority (HA) about an 81-year-old female patient. The DH commenced investigation immediately.
"The patient sought treatment from General Out-Patient Clinic because of having frequent nose bleeding and skin bruises in the recent few months. Blood test results on September 8 showed low haemoglobin level and plate count. Thus, she was referred to Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital for further management and was admitted on the same day. After admission, she was confirmed to have anaemia and thrombocytopenia. She described to her attending doctor a history of use of the above oral product in the past few months. A drug-related adverse effect was suspected clinically. She was discharged from hospital on September 21 after treatment.
"The HA's laboratory test on the product sample showed the presence of multiple undeclared Western medicines, including diclofenac, piroxicam, indomethacin, naproxen, ibuprofen, dipyridamole, hydrochlorothiazide, metoclopramide and cimetidine. The DH’s investigation continues," a DH spokesman said.
"Diclofenac, piroxicam, indomethacin, naproxen and ibuprofen are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to relieve pain and inflammation. Their known side effects include gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea and peptic ulcer. It is well known that users will have increased risks of developing complications like gastrointestinal ulcers, some of which may be silent until more serious complications like gastrointestinal bleeding set in.
“Dipyridamole can affect blood clotting function and increase the risk of bleeding, its side effects include dizziness, headache, gastrointestinal discomfort, etc. Hydrochlorothiazide is used as a diuretic and also for the treatment of hypertension. It may cause hypotension and electrolyte imbalance. Metoclopramide is used to relieve nausea and vomiting but it may occasionally affect muscular movement. As for cimetidine, it is commonly used to suppress secretion of stomach acid,” the spokesman added.
"Members of the public must stop taking this product immediately. If they feel unwell or are in doubt after taking the product, they should consult healthcare professionals as soon as possible. Besides, they are advised not to buy or consume products of unknown composition or from doubtful sources," the spokesman urged.