Banned substances, high levels of erectile dysfunction medicines found in 3 products
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has instructed local e-commerce platforms to remove the listings of three products found to contain potent medicinal ingredients including a banned weight loss medicine, a laxative, and potent erectile dysfunction medicines.
The products, Fercy Dietary Supplement Product, Tanduk Rusa Kuat Lelaki, and mentalk candy, were sold on multiple local e-commerce platforms, including Shopee and Qoo10.
In a media release on Thursday, HSA said it has worked closely with the platform administrators to remove the affected listings and issued warnings to the respective sellers.
Fercy Dietary Supplement Product was marketed as a supplement to help control hunger, reduce appetite, and assist in burning fat and slimming down.
HSA’s tests found that it contained high levels of sibutramine, a prescription-only weight loss medicine, which has been banned in Singapore since 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke after consumption.
Heart problems and central nervous system disorders, such as psychosis and hallucinations, were some other serious health consequences that had been reported from consuming the substance.
Fercy Dietary Supplement Product also contained sennosides, a laxative used for relieving constipation. Prolonged use of this ingredient could lead to chronic constipation, fluid and electrolyte abnormalities, bloating, and abdominal pain.
Additionally, it was falsely labelled to have “passed GMP audit”, claiming it was manufactured under high quality standards certified by Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). HSA said this may mislead consumers into believing that the product is safe.
The other two products, Tanduk Rusa Kuat Lelaki and mentalk candy, were found to contain high levels of prescription medicines used to treat erectile dysfunction, which should be given only under medical supervision.
Tanduk Rusa Kuat Lelaki – marketed as a herbal medicine with aphrodisiac and anti-impotence effects – and was found to contain high levels of sildenafil.
Mentalk candy – packaged as a candy containing only ginseng and coffee – contained an amount of tadalafil up to 57 times higher than the usual prescribed daily dose.
HSA said that inappropriate use of these substances can increase the risk of serious adverse effects, including heart attack, stroke, headache, migraine, irregular heart rate, and priapism, or painful and exceedingly long erections.
It advised consumers to stop taking these products immediately and to consult a doctor if they feel unwell or are concerned about their health.
HSA added that consumers should refrain from buying products from unknown or unverifiable sources, and exercise caution when buying online or from overseas.
It noted that adulterated products are often manufactured under poor conditions with no quality control. This could result in different batches of the same product containing different amounts of ingredients and/or different types of adulterants.
“These products may appear well-packaged or (are) labelled as certified to meet quality standards, but these are tactics used by unscrupulous manufacturers to falsely portray that the products are safe and of good quality, when in fact they contain potent ingredients which can seriously harm your health,” said HSA.
“If buying online, only buy from reputable pharmacies or retailers’ websites or those with an established retail presence in Singapore,” it added.
HSA said it will take stern enforcement actions against anyone who sells and supplies products found to be adulterated with banned substances or potent ingredients.
Sellers and suppliers are liable to prosecution and, if convicted, may be fined up to $50,000, jailed for up to two years, or both.