Health Sciences Authority (HSA) in Singapore warned the public on Monday, 14 May to not purchase two Malaysian products: Ausbee Australia Ausbee Herbal Powder Capsules and Shen Loon She Edoly Capsule
A 70-year-old woman was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after using Ausbee Australia Ausbee Herbal Powder Capsules for two years to relieve her back pain and for general health
She initially underwent surgery for a fracture but was admitted in March when she started having post-surgery issues.
HSA said that her life-threatening side effects were caused by the long usage of dexamethasone, a potent steroid present in the herbal powder capsule.
In addition, the product is also mixed with antibiotics, a painkiller, and an anti-allergy drug which can cause serious adverse reactions and drug interactions, added HSA.
The woman has now been discharged from the hospital.
Similarly, a Singaporean man in his 60s had been using Shen Loon She Edoly Capsule to relieve his joint pains for almost a decade
He eventually developed Cushing's Syndrome, a condition caused by long-term consumption of steroids.
Some of his symptoms include skin thinning, large purplish skin bruises, high blood pressure, and blood glucose level.
He is currently under treatment.
HSA warned the public to immediately cease consumption of the two products. If already consumed, they are advised to see a doctor as soon as possible.
However, stopping the usage of the steroids without proper medical supervision can cause "serious withdrawal symptoms" like fatigue, confusion, and low blood pressure, especially if the products have been consumed for more than a few weeks, HSA stated. So, it would be best to see a medical professional.
"Be cautious when purchasing health products from unfamiliar sources or overseas, even if they are recommended by friends or relatives. No one can be certain what these products contain, and where and how they were made," HSA said.
The public is also advised to be wary of health products that promise or produce quick and miraculous results for chronic conditions.
Such products may contain potent or banned ingredients, or hidden prescription medicine which should be taken only under medical supervision.
The Health Authority also warned sellers and suppliers to stop selling these two products immediately.
"Anyone who supplies illegal health products is liable to prosecution and if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to three years and/or fined up to SGD100,000 (RM296,360)," said HSA.
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