Two women suffer adverse effects after taking products with potent medicinal ingredients, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Two women suffer adverse effects after taking products with potent medicinal ingredients

A woman who consumed D’Sihat Herba Gout & Sendi capsules for her knee pain was hospitalised and developed Cushing’s syndrome, a serious steroid-induced condition with characteristics like weight gain and a “moon face” appearance.

She took the pills for seven months and experienced weight gain, swelling of her lower limbs, and high blood sugar levels.

The woman, who was in her 50s, was subsequently diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency - a serious steroid withdrawal condition in which the body does not produce adequate amounts of steroid hormones - after she stopped consuming the pills.

She was one of two women who experienced steroid-induced adverse effects after consuming adulterated products containing potent medicinal ingredients including steroids, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said on Friday.

The other woman, in her 40s, experienced abnormal blood cortisol levels after consuming ‘Yanwo Chongcao Yanyin Qinfei Huatan Dan’ capsules for her chronic cough.

HSA warned the public not to purchase or consume these two products and those who have consumed such products should see a doctor as soon as possible.

Both consumers had obtained these products from Malaysia through their friends, HSA said.

HSA added that these products are also found to be sold on local e-commerce and social media platforms including Shopee and Facebook. A check by The Straits Times showed that they are still available on these platforms.

The health authority has alerted its Malaysian counterpart to the detection of the adulterated products as well as worked with the e-commerce platform administrators to remove the affected listings.

Investigations against the sellers are ongoing.

HSA said that D’Sihat Herba Gout & Sendi was marketed for pain relief and falsely labelled to be free of steroids, while ‘Yanwo Chongcao Yanyin Qinfei Huatan Dan’ was marketed to be “100% natural pure herbal” and to help relieve cough.

However, HSA testing showed that both products contained steroids - dexamethasone, which was found in both, and pednisolon that was found in ‘Yanwo Chongcao Yanyin Qinfei Huatan Dan’, as well as chlorpheniramine and promethazine that were found in both products.

Long-term unsupervised use of steroids can cause Cushing’s syndrome, high blood sugar levels and high blood pressure, among other serious side effects.

HSA’s analysis of the products revealed that they contained steroids and other potent medicinal ingredients which can cause serious adverse effects in consumers. PHOTO: HSA


Chlorpheniramine and promethazine are antihistamines used to relive allergic conditions which can lead to adverse side effects like drowsiness, blurred vision and constipation.

HSA said: “Long-term steroid use can suppress the body’s production of steroids. Sudden stopping of the product without medical supervision may worsen underlying medical conditions or cause other serious withdrawal conditions such as adrenal insufficiency.”

It added that consumers should buy products only from reputable pharmacies or retailers with an established presence in Singapore, and to be cautious of products that claim to deliver unexpectedly quick effects. Those who need help managing their chronic medical conditions should always consult doctors and pharmacists.

HSA also said that stern enforcement action will be taken against those who sell and supply products that have been adulterated with potent medicinal ingredients. Those convicted can be jailed for up to two years, fined up to $10,000, or both.

HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITYHealth and well-beingmedicineAlternative medicine