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Slimming product found with western drug ingredient (with photo)

    The Department of Health (DH) today (August 14) called on members of the public not to buy or use a brand of slimming product called "DETOX PEPTIDE" which contained sibutramine, a western drug ingredient that may cause side effect.

     A DH spokesman said the department obtained a sample of the product for investigation after receiving two public complaints concerning the product recently.  Upon laboratory analysis, the product was found to contain sibutramine in high dose. According to the product's recommended dose, the daily intake of sibutramine is above its therapeutic dose.

     Sibutramine is an appetite suppressant. It can cause increased blood pressure and heart rate. Persons with heart diseases should not take it.  The two complainants developed side effects like hand trembling and increased heartbeat after consuming the product for a few days.  Their symptoms subsided after they stopped taking the product themselves.

     The spokesman said under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance, products containing sibutramine must be registered before sale and can only be sold on a doctor's prescription and under supervision by a pharmacist.

     However, according to DH's record, the slimming product concerned was not registered. The department does not have any record of the product having been imported into Hong Kong for sale.

     People who have been using the product are advised to immediately stop taking it.  They should seek medical attention if they feel unwell.

     The spokesman said members of the public should control their weight by a balanced diet and adequate physical exercise. Before taking drugs for weight control, they should first consult their family doctors.

     Anyone who is in possession of the product should dispose of them or submit them to the DH's Pharmaceutical Service at the third floor, Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon during office hours.

Ends/Monday, August 14, 2006
Issued at HKT 19:32