SINGAPORE: The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) on Monday (Jun 29) issued an alert about two weight loss products found to contain a banned substance which can pose serious health risks.
The authority said it was alerted to the sale of Serifa Beauty Solidmolid and LKS Coffee, both marketed as "slimming products", by consumers who had experienced "adverse effects".
One consumer experienced "rapid heartbeat" after taking Serifa Beauty Solidmolid, while other consumers who took LKS Coffee experienced sudden weight loss and loss of appetite, HSA said.
The agency's tests revealed that the products contained the banned substance sibutramine.
The drug used to be a prescription medicine for weight loss, but has been banned in Singapore since 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
HSA said other serious adverse effects reported by consumers who took products adulterated with sibutramine include insomnia, hallucinations and hearing voices.
"Both products were sold on e-commerce platforms such as Shopee, Carousell and social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram," the authority added.
"Warnings have been issued to the sellers and the respective website administrators have been directed to take down the affected listings."
Both Serifa Beauty Solidmolid and LKS Coffee were marketed as slimming products containing natural ingredients.
Serifa Beauty Solidmolid was marketed to “burn fats up to 10X” while LKS Coffee was marketed to be able to “accelerate fat burning”, “promote metabolism” and “achieve the perfect slimming effect”.
HSA has advised consumers to stop taking these two products immediately and see a doctor if they feel unwell or are concerned about their health.
They are also advised to be wary of products that make exaggerated claims such as “burn fats up to 10X” and “accelerate fat burning” or that deliver unexpectedly quick results, HSA added.
"They could contain potent ingredients that can seriously harm your health."
The agency has also demanded that all vendors stop selling these products immediately, as it is illegal to sell and supply products containing banned substances.
"Sellers and suppliers are liable to prosecution and if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to 2 years and/or fined up to S$10,000," HSA warned.
The agency has also urged members of the public who have any information on the sale and supply of these illegal products to contact HSA.