The Department of Health (DH) today (December 9) advised members of the public not to buy or use a slimming health product, Trim Up Plus Bird's Nest.
A DH spokesman said the product, which was not registered under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance, was found to have contained a western drug ingredient, sibutramine.
Sibutramine is an appetite suppressant. Its adverse effects include increasing blood pressure and heart rate. Persons with heart or circulatory system problems should not take it.
The importer has been instructed to recall the product from the market and to surrender them to DH.
"Products containing western medicine are pharmaceutical products and must be registered under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance before they are allowed to be put on sale.
"Moreover, pharmaceutical products containing sibutramine can only be sold on a doctor's prescription," the spokesman said.
Members of the public who have purchased the products should immediately stop using them and seek medical advice if they feel unwell. They are advised to dispose of them or return them to the importer or submit them to the Pharmaceutical Service of DH at 3/F, Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon during office hours.
Members of the public may call the importer's hotline at 2660 0688 for matters relating to the recall.
DH has also set up a hotline 2319 2839 for enquiries during office hours.
The spokesman reminded importers and retailers that the possession and sale of unregistered pharmaceutical products is an offence liable to a maximum penalty of $100,000 fine and two years' imprisonment.
"For weight control, members of the public should observe good dietary practice and appropriate physical activities. Before using drugs for weight reduction, they should first consult their family doctors," he added.
Ends/Thursday, December 9, 2004