The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) alerts members of the public not to purchase or consume ‘PHQ 1001 Khasiat Penawar Herba Qaseh Serata Herb’ as a consumer developed serious steroid induced side effects and diabetes after taking it.
The product was marketed as a traditional herbal remedy for a variety of medical conditions such as pain, impotence, kidney diseases and stroke.
HSA stated that after some tests, it is found to contain multiple undeclared potent western medicines, including dexamethasone, piroxicam, griseofulvin and paracetamol.
The product is sold on social media platforms and overseas websites, and some consumers may have obtained it through their friends or relatives.
HSA said that a Malay female in her 60s took the product for her knee pain and obtained rapid relief of the pain. However, she experienced rapid weight gain and developed a puffy face after consuming it regularly for a few months.
She was then diagnosed with diabetes and Cushing’s syndrome (a condition caused by prolonged ingestion of steroids, characterised by the appearance of round face or ‘moon face’ and upper body obesity with thin limbs).
According to the authority, these medical conditions are likely to have been caused by the presence of dexamethasone (a potent steroid) in the product. The consumer had obtained the product through a social media platform.
While her doctor said that a few of the consumer’s friends, who also consumed the product, experienced weight gain, which was likely to have been caused by the steroids in the product.
HSA advises members of the public to:
- Consult a doctor as soon as possible if you are taking ‘PHQ 1001 Khasiat Penawar Herba Qaseh Serata Herb’, as it has been tested to contain a potent steroid. Sudden discontinuation of steroids without proper medical supervision can cause serious withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, confusion and low blood pressure, especially when these products have been taken for more than a few weeks.
- Exercise caution when purchasing health products online or from sources which you may not be familiar with, even if they are recommended by well-meaning friends and relatives. You cannot be certain where and how these products were made, or what ingredients they contain.
- Be wary of complementary health products (e.g. health supplements, traditional medicines) that promise or produce quick results for chronic medical conditions, such as fast pain relief. They may be adulterated with prescription medicines that should only be taken under medical supervision. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you need help for the management of your chronic medical conditions.
HSA also encourages members of the public to visit www.healthdangers.sg to learn more about the dangers of buying illegal health products from questionable sources.
HSA stressed that sellers must stop selling ‘PHQ 1001 Khasiat Penawar Herba Qaseh Serata Herb’ immediately as it is illegal to sell and supply complementary health products containing undeclared potent western medicines.
Anyone who supplies such products is liable to prosecution and if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to 3 years and/or fined up to $100,000.
Members of the public who have any information on the sale and supply of ‘PHQ 1001 Khasiat Penawar Herba Qaseh Serata Herb’ or other illegal products may contact HSA’s Enforcement Branch at Tel: 6866-3485 during office hours (Monday to Friday) or email: [email protected]