The Department of Health (DH) today (August 12) urged people not to buy or consume a slimming product "Menze Qianweisu Slimming Herbs Capsule" (¬ü«ºÅÖºû¯À½¦Ån) which has been found to contain a Western drug ingredient and may cause side effects.
The company which imports the product has been instructed to recall it from the market and to surrender it to DH. People who have purchased the product should immediately stop using it and seek medical advice if they feel unwell.
A department spokesman said as a result of a complaint received on August 5, a laboratory test was conducted on the product and found it to contain sibutramine (¦è¥¬¦±©ú). The product was not registered under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance.
"Sibutramine is a Western drug ingredient used as appetite suppressant. It can cause increased blood pressure and heart rate, and persons with heart problems should not take it. Products containing sibutramine are western medicines and must be registered before sale," the spokesman said.
"Products containing this drug ingredient are Third Schedule poisons under Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance, i.e. they can only be sold on a doctor's prescription and dispensed under the supervision of a pharmacist," he said.
People are advised to dispose of them or return the product to the importing company (telephone number 6033 8051).
They may also submit the products to the Pharmaceutical Service of the department at 3/F, Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon during office hours.
The department has also set up a hotline 2319 2839 for enquiries during office hours.
The spokesman reminded importers, wholesalers and retailers that the possession and sale of unregistered pharmaceutical products was an offence liable to a maximum penalty of $100,000 fine and two years' imprisonment.
"People should control their weight in terms of observing good dietary practice and appropriate physical activities. Before using drugs for weight reduction, they should first consult their family doctors," he said.
Ends/Friday, August 12, 2005