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Warning on slimming product with banned and undeclared drug ingredients (with photo)

    The Department of Health (DH) today (December 20) appealed to members of the public not to buy or consume a slimming product named Xian Zhe Su Jiao Nang, which bears the name Chang Qing Chun on its capsules, as it may contain undeclared drug ingredients that are dangerous to health.

    The appeal followed the DH's receipt of notification from the Hospital Authority (HA) about a young lady who had a history of consuming a slimming product. The DH commenced investigation immediately. The 20-year-old lady presented a history of hand tremors and substantial weight loss to her doctor at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and was admitted on December 10 for investigation.

    She described a history of consumption of a slimming product called Xian Zhe Su Jiao Nang continuously for two months. The product was purchased in the Mainland by the patient's friend. The HA's preliminary laboratory test on the product sample showed the presence of Western medicines including three banned drug ingredients - sibutramine, phenolphthalein and fenfluramine - and animal thyroid tissue.

    "The patient was discharged against medical advice on December 13 after receiving treatment," a DH spokesman said.

    Sibutramine is a Part I poison and was once a Western medicine used as an appetite suppressant. Since November 2010, products containing sibutramine have been banned because of increased cardiovascular risk. Phenolphthalein was once used for treating constipation but has been banned for its cancer-causing effect.

    Fenfluramine was banned from the market because it may cause pulmonary hypertension and valvular heart diseases. Animal thyroid tissue is not an appropriate agent for weight reduction.

    The spokesman urged members of the public not to buy products of unknown or doubtful composition, including during travel. People should consult health-care professionals if they feel unwell or are in doubt after taking the product.

    "People should stop using the above product immediately if they have it in their possession. They ought to submit it to the Chinese Medicine Division of the DH at 16/F, Two Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, during office hours," the spokesman said.

    "Weight control should be achieved through balanced diet and appropriate exercise. People should consult health-care professionals before using any medication for weight control."

Ends/Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Issued at HKT 22:21


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