SINGAPORE — Members of the public have been warned not to purchase or consume four weight-loss products containing a banned substance that can cause serious adverse effects.
Analysis of the four products revealed that they contained sibutramine, said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) on Thursday (25 March). The substance, previously a prescription-only weight loss medicine here, has been banned since 2010 as it causes an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
The four products, sold on local e-commerce and social media platforms, are:
Leedee Botanical Beverage Mix Pineapple Juice Powder with AfricanMango
Quinn S Amyera
Schocolite Double Chocolate Cookies Drink with Hoodia GordiniiExtract and L-Carnitine’Sibutramine
A man who consumed Flash Slim had experienced serious adverse effects such as palpitations, nausea, insomnia, and excessive sweating, said the HSA. He had seen an advertisement of the product on an e-commerce website, which claimed that the product was “15x more effective to burn stubborn fat” with “results guaranteed within one to five days”.
"Continued intake of the product could lead to serious health consequences," said the HSA, Other serious adverse effects reported in the past by consumers who took products adulterated with sibutramine include insomnia and hallucinations, it added.
"In 2019, a consumer experienced extremely fast heart rate and became unconscious. She was resuscitated and suffered debilitating consequences requiring the implantation of a defibrillator to help her heart to function," said the HSA.
The HSA had received feedback on the other three products from members of the public who suspected they may contain potent ingredients because of the exaggerated claims made, it said.
The products were marketed to “burn fats quickly”, show results in "as early as seven to 14 days” and “increase metabolism”.
The authority added that it has worked with the various platform administrators to promptly remove the affected listings and issued warnings to the respective sellers.
"All sellers and suppliers must stop selling these products immediately. HSA will not hesitate to take stern enforcement actions against anyone who sells and supplies products found to be adulterated with banned substances or potent medicinal ingredients," it said.
Errant sellers and suppliers are liable to face prosecution and if convicted, they may each face a jail term of up to two years, a maximum fine of $10,000, or both.
The HSA advised members of the public who have any information on the sale and supply of any such illegal product to contact its enforcement branch at 6866 3485 during office hours or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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