DH issues warning on oral product containing banned and undeclared Western drug ingredients (with photo)

     The Department of Health (DH) today (July 14) urged the public not to buy or consume an oral product called TANGKE TEGONGYIHAOJIAONANG as it was found to contain two undeclared Western drug ingredients, including one banned locally. The product is neither a registered pharmaceutical product nor a registered proprietary Chinese medicine in Hong Kong.

     Upon notification from the Hospital Authority of a case affecting a man aged 58 who consumed the above product before admission, the DH immediately commenced investigations.

     The patient with underlying illnesses was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital on July 5 for shortness of breath. He was later found to suffer from lactic acidosis and respiratory failure. His condition deteriorated and he died on July 7.

     While substances including phenformin and glibenclamide metabolite were detected in the patient's urine specimen, a sample of the product's remnants was also found to contain phenformin and glibenclamide upon testing by the Government Laboratory.

     "Both phenformin and glibenclamide are hypoglycaemic agents. Drugs containing phenformin have been banned in Hong Kong since 1985 for potentially fatal lactic acidosis. Glibenclamide is used for treating diabetes and improper use may lead to a significant fall in blood sugar levels. It is a prescription drug which should only be used under medical supervision," a spokesman for the DH said.

     According to the patient's family, he had been taking the above product for at least three to four months, but the exact source of the product as well as his consumption pattern and dosage were unknown.

     "Patients with chronic diseases like diabetes should consult healthcare professionals for appropriate advice and holistic management. They should refrain from self-medication or using over-the-counter products without professional supervision as consequences can be very serious. Extra caution is warranted for taking drugs obtained outside Hong Kong and medical advice should be sought," the spokesman said.

     The DH strongly urged the public not to buy or use products of unknown or doubtful composition or from unknown sources.

     Those who have purchased the above product should stop taking it immediately and consult healthcare professionals if feeling unwell after consumption. They may submit it to the DH's Drug Office in Room 1856, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, during office hours for disposal.

Ends/Thursday, July 14, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:32