The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said on Friday that a Singaporean man was taken to the hospital, as he developed a serious health issue after consuming a product that contained an undeclared ingredient.
The victim, who is in his 70s bought the supplement, called Pil Raja Urat Asli from a street vendor in Geylang and Chinatown. After taking the product to relieve pain in his knees, he developed Cushing's syndrome, which occurs when the body is exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol for a long time and sometimes it may be caused by the use of oral corticosteroid medication.
HAS also stated, "This was caused by the long-term consumption of steroids such as dexamethasone that was fraudulently added into the product," adding that they have found some undeclared "potent western medicinal ingredients" in the substance.
A banned substance for weight loss called 'sibutramine' was found in another product, XXS xtraxtrasmall and mycophenolic acid, which is used to suppress immunity in auto-immune diseases was found in the substance labelled as Diabotica capsules. Even though these two products are available online and in local shops, HSA took the initiative and asked the shops and websites to remove listings of the supplements.
HSA said that if anyone has taken these pills including Pil Raja Urat Asli, then they are advised to visit their doctors immediately. They also advised people to be careful while choosing such health products, which offer fast and quick effects. The consumers should avoid buying any products from street vendors.
Earlier HSA warned people about the extreme side effects of two products, Body Slim Herbal and Sparkle Twins. They also stated that these products contain 'sibutramine,'which could cause heart attacks, strokes, breathing difficulties, palpitations and hallucinations.
In January, the health authority also issued a warning to the public about two 'health products' after a middle-aged woman was admitted to the ICU and a woman in her 20s suffered chemical burns on her face, as they used two products URE Tonic Herbal Traditional and RDL Hydroquinone Tretinoin Babyface Solution 3 that contains western ingredients which are banned in the country.
However, the authority clearly stated that anyone who supplies illegal health products can be prosecuted and if convicted, they face three years' jail term and/or S$100,000 fine. They also said that if anyone has information about the sale and supply of such illegal products, then they can contact HSA's Enforcement Branch at 68663485 or firstname.lastname@example.org.