The Department of Health (DH) today (August 29) urged members of the public not to buy or take yet another slimming product under the name of "Forever-Thin Youth Weight Reducing Capsule".
During the follow up with clients who had taken the "Seven Days Seven Fairy Maidens Forever-Youth Immunity Capsule", a slimming product found to contain fenfluramine on August 22, it was noted that some clients had taken a similar product called "Forever-Thin Youth Weight Reducing Capsule".
The two products looked very similar in their packages.
Initial examination of "Forever-Thin Youth Weight Reducing Capsule" also revealed that it contained fenfluramine, a western medicine which has been de-registered in Hong Kong since January 1998 for its association with heart disease.
DH's Assistant Director, Dr Cindy Lai, said tracing investigation found that the product had been illegally brought into Hong Kong and sold for a short period of time at a local company which was the same company selling "Seven Days Seven Fairy Maidens Forever-Youth Immunity Capsule".
"Staff of DH's Pharmaceutical Service have carried out inspections in local dispensaries and medicine companies to ensure that these products are not on sale in the local market, and such products have not been found by us," she said.
Dr Lai appealed to members of the public who have been using these products or products with similar package for any period of time to stop using the product immediately and consult their doctors for a medical examination.
"Those who have been taking these products and develop symptoms suggesting impaired heart function like shortness of breath should see a doctor as soon as possible," she said.
A teenage girl was admitted to hospital on August 14 with dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath and chest discomfort after taking "Seven days Seven Fairy Maidens Forever-Youth Immunity Capsule"or about six months. She is now in stable condition.
It is reported that the girl bought the product from a shop in Shenzhen.
DH has set up a hotline at 2961 8968 for public enquiries since August 22. To date, a total of 159 calls were received. Sixty-six of them were referred to specialist out-patient clinics for follow-up.
In addition, two women who had taken the "even Days Seven Fairy Maidens Forever-Youth Immunity Capsule"were admitted to hospital. They are in stable condition.
Members of the public who have used these products or products with similar package can call the hotline for advice between 9 am and 5 pm from Monday to Friday and between 9 am and 1 pm on Saturday.
The public may also access DH's website at http://www.info.gov.hk/dh/new for more information on fenfluramine.
Dr Lai reiterated that a balanced diet and adequate physical exercise are the crucial factors in keeping fit and healthy. Members of the public who need to reduce weight by means of medicines are advised to consult their doctors in advance.
End/Thursday, August 29, 2002