18 April 2013
The Department of Health (DH) today (April 18) appealed to members of the public not to buy or consume a slimming product called "Aisiyuan V26 Coffee Slimming granules" obtained from the Internet as it was found to contain an undeclared and banned drug ingredient that might be dangerous to health.
The appeal followed the DH's receipt of notification from the Hospital Authority (HA) of a 42-year-old female patient who consumed the above slimming product. The DH commenced investigation immediately.
The patient, who was admitted to the Caritas Medical Centre on April 8 for unconsciousness, described a history of consumption of the above slimming product. Sibutramine metabolites were detected in her urine sample. She was discharged on April 17.
The HA's test result of the product sample today showed the presence of sibutramine. Preliminary investigations revealed that a friend of the patient purchased the slimming products from the Internet. The DH investigation is continuing.
"Sibutramine is a Part I poison and was once a Western medicine used as an appetite suppressant. Since November 2010, products containing sibutramine have been banned because of an increased cardiovascular risk," the spokesman for the DH explained.
The spokesman strongly urged members of the public not to buy products of unknown or doubtful composition, or consume products from unknown sources.
"People who have purchased the above product should stop using them immediately and consult healthcare professionals as soon as possible. They can submit it to the Drug Office of the DH at Room 1856, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, during office hours for disposal," the spokesman urged.
"Weight control should be achieved through a balanced diet and appropriate exercise. The public should consult healthcare professionals before using any medication for weight control," the spokesman advised.