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Proprietary Chinese medicine with Western drug


    The Department of Health (DH) today (June 28) called on people not to buy or use two proprietary Chinese medicines, namely ? ? and ? ?, both of which contained Western drug ingredients and may cause side effects.

    The former product contained two Western drug ingredients prednisolone and chlorpheniramine. The second product contained chlorpheniramine only.  Products containing them are Western medicines and must be registered before sale.

    Moreover, products containing prednisolone are Third Schedule poisons under Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance and are prescription-only drugs.

    Prednisolone is a steroid.  Its use include relief of allergy and rheumatim.  Taking steroid for a long time can cause central obesity, muscle atrophy and osteoporosis.

    Chlorpheniramine is used to relieve allergy but can cause drowsiness and dizziness.

    The appeal followed an investigation into a case involving a 58-year-old man who was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on May 19 for drowsiness, agitation and disorientation. He has now recovered.  

    He revealed a history of taking ? ? since late April this year for sciatica.  However, there is no evidence that his symptoms were caused by the product.

    People who have been using ? ? or ? ? are advised to immediately stop taking them and to seek medical attention if they feel unwell.

    Both products have been imported by the same company. The company concerned has also been instructed to recall the products from the customers and to surrender them to the Department of Health.

    People are urged to dispose of the product, or to return the product to the company (telephone number: 2343 5723).

    Alternatively, they can submit the product to the department's Pharmaceutical Service at the third floor, Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon, during office hours.

    People with sciatica should consult medical professionals for appropriate advice or medication if necessary.

    The department has set up a telephone hotline, 2319 2839, during office hours for answering health enquiries from the public.

Ends/Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Issued at HKT 18:50


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