The Ministry of Health (MoH) alerted the public to two types of health products tested by the Pharmacy Section, Department of Scientific Services, MoH and found to be adulterated with undeclared, potent western medicines.
The health products are Herba Urat Saraf, manufactured by Secret Herbs 2u, Malaysia, found to contain Diclofenac and Dexamethasone; and Detoxicut Xtreme Capsule, manufactured by Nature Valey Pty Ltd, Germany, found to contain Sildenafil andPhenolphthalein, the MoH stated in a press release on Wednesday.
The adulterants found in these products can cause adverse effects that are potentially hazardous to the people using them.
Diclofenac is a pain-relief medicine that, if taken without supervision, may result in peptic ulceration, gastrointestinal bleeding, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, blurred vision, oedema, jaundice and kidney failure.
Unsupervised long-term consumption of potent corticosteroids such as Dexamethasone can cause increase blood glucose levels leading to diabetes, high blood pressure, cataract, muscular and bone disorders, and an increased risk of infections.
ABOVE & BELOW: Herba Ubat Saraf and Detoxicut Xtreme Capsule. PHOTOS: MOH
Long term use of corticosteroids can also lead to Cushing’s syndrome which is characterised by round face or ‘moon face’, and upper body obesity with thin limbs.
Consumers who have taken high doses of steroids over a prolonged period may suffer from withdrawal symptoms which include fatigue, muscle and joint pain, fever, low blood sugar, low blood pressure and dehydration.
Sildenafil are drugs used to treat male impotency and can only be prescribed by a qualified doctor or physician.
Among their side effects include nausea, vomiting, flushing and dizziness.
In severe cases, they can also result in abnormal increase in heart rate, sudden loss of hearing and seizures. Prolonged consumption or overdose of Phenolphthalein can result in diarrhoea with excessive loss of water and electrolytes.
There is also the possibility of developing an atonic non-functioning colon.
Cardiac and respiratory distress, renal damage and hypersensitivity reactions have also been reported with the use of this drug.
The MoH has not issued any approval for the importation for the sale of these products.
Following these findings, the products are not allowed to be imported and sold in Brunei Darussalam.
Members of the public who have purchased or used these products are advised to stop using them immediately. They should also consult a medical practitioner if they feel unwell or experience any undesirable reactions as a result of using them.
Members of the public involved in the retail of these products (including online retail such as through Facebook) are reminded that it is an offence under the Poisons Act 1956 to sell any product containing any substance controlled under the said Act. The penalty for such an offence upon conviction, is a fine of BND8,000 or six months’ imprisonment.
Commission of an act endangering or likely to endanger human life, is a punishable offence carrying a fine of BND16,000 and 12 months’ imprisonment.
The MoH called upon the public to report to the Compliance and Licensing Section if any of these products are still found in the market in the country.
-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin