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HSA alerts public to three illegal products with potent ingredients

The three products have been found to contain potent steroids and painkillers, which should only be used under strict medical supervision, warns the Health Sciences Authority.

SINGAPORE: Three illegal health products used for the treatment of pain contain undeclared potent western medicinal ingredients, said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) in a media release issued on Thursday (July 31).

The products are "Joint-Soft", "Kebigutaijiaonang" and "Pil Raja Urat Asli". The HSA said it found the presence of potent steroids and painkillers in the products. The steroids should only be used under strict medical supervision, as long-term unsupervised use can cause medical complications such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cataracts, the authority warned, while unsupervised used of the painkillers can lead to gastric bleeding, heart attack and stroke. 

These products were bought overseas and are not known to be available locally. The HSA warns that such illegal health products from illegitimate or unknown sources are generally produced under poor manufacturing conditions with no quality control, and the contents can vary significantly with each batch.

The HSA said a patient in his 60s who had consumed "Joint-Soft" was hospitalised after he experienced bleeding. Another patient in her 50s gained weight and experienced a worsening of her diabetic condition after consuming "Kebigutaijiaonang". A third patient in her 60s gained over 8kg after taking "Pil Raja Urat Asli".

Members of the public who are consuming these products are advised to:

  • Consult a doctor as soon as possible before stopping their consumption of the products. Sudden discontinuation of steroids without proper medical supervision can cause serious withdrawal symptoms, such as weakness, fatigue, confusion and low blood pressure.
  • Be wary of complementary health products, such as traditional medicines and health supplements, which claim to provide unexpected rapid relief of pain symptoms. Consumers should exercise discretion in their purchase of these complementary health products, and obtain them from reliable and reputable sources locally.
  • Seek appropriate medical treatment for acute and chronic medical symptoms and conditions, such as arthritis and rheumatism, and do not self-medicate.

The HSA said it will take strong enforcement actions against those who engage in the sale and supply of health products containing undeclared potent medicinal ingredients. Anyone found to contravene the Poisons Act faces a penalty of up to S$10,000 and/or imprisonment for a period of up to two years.

Members of the public who have any information on the sale and supply of these three illegal products, or other illegal products, may contact HSA's Enforcement Branch at 6866-3485 during office hours (Monday to Friday) or email: hsa_is@hsa.gov.sg. Thye are also encouraged to visit www.healthdangers.sg to learn more about the dangers of buying illegal health products from dubious sources. 

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