SINGAPORE: A woman in her 30s suffered redness, extreme itchiness and a burning sensation after she stopped using a cream that she bought online, said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) on Monday (Feb 10).
The woman, who had used Perliere Mimi Pearl Cream for more than two years, had developed steroid withdrawal symptoms, said HSA.
The authority added that the product contained antibiotics and a potent steroid, which could "pose serious health risks if used without medical supervision".
In the news release, HSA warned the public not to purchase or use the cream as well as another two health products: Tian Ma Tu Chung Seven Leave Ginseng and Impactra.
TIAN MA TU CHUNG SEVEN LEAVE GINSENG
A man in his 50s developed "abnormal blood cortisol levels" after long-term consumption of Tian Ma Tu Chung Seven Leave Ginseng, said HSA. This condition can generally cause weakness, muscle and joint pain, low blood pressure or shock to a patient.
After carrying out tests on the product, which was bought in Malaysia, HSA detected an antihistamine, chlorpheniramine, and a potent steroid, dexamethasone.
"Dexamethasone can only be obtained through prescription by a doctor while chlorpheniramine should be obtained from a doctor or pharmacist," said the authority.
"Long-term unsupervised use of steroids like dexamethasone can cause increased blood glucose levels (which may lead to diabetes), Cushing’s syndrome (a round face or ‘moon face’ appearance and upper body obesity with thin limbs), and other serious adverse effects."
HSA said it had alerted the public about the same product in August 2011.
An elderly lady had obtained it from a relative who bought it from Malaysia, and suffered Cushing’s syndrome, high blood pressure, hallucination and memory loss.
In the press release, HSA said that it was carrying out a routine surveillance on health product Impactra when it detected several potent ingredients.
"Impactra was detected to contain sildenafil, tadalafil and chloropretadalafil," said HSA. "These are prescription medicines used for the treatment of male erectile dysfunction."
The amount of tadalafilin the product was also up to 10 times the maximum daily dose, it added.
"These high levels can cause serious adverse effects such as low blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and painful and exceedingly long erections (priapism) which can lead to permanent erectile dysfunction if left untreated," HSA added.
Impactra, which is sold by Gold Tree, was marketed for "male sexual enhancement" and claims to also "boost libido" and "causing an increase in testosterone level".
The product also claimed falsely that “its all-natural formula ensures no inclusion of harmful synthetic chemicals”, when it actually contained three prescription medicines, added HSA.
Both companies selling Perliere Mimi Pearl Cream and Impactra have been directed by HSA to stop the sale of the respective products.
HSA added that it is working with local e-commerce websites to take down affected postings.
"Be wary of health products that promise to deliver quick and miraculous effects, or carry exaggerated claims," said HSA in the release.
It added that members of the public should avoid purchasing health products from unfamiliar sources overseas, and exercise caution when buying such products online.