HSA alerts public to 6 more 'herbal health' products

PHOTO: HSA alerts public to 6 more 'herbal health' products

SINGAPORE - Six more herbal health products sold by Ace Nutrition International have been found to contain undeclared potent medicinal ingredients.

The products - marketed under Ace Nutrition's 'Herbal Health' range - are 'Herbal Health Backplus 500mg', 'Herbal Health V+', 'Herbal Health RU Special Cream', 'Herbal Health YI Special Cream', 'Herbal Health JI Special Cream' and 'Herbal Health XIANG Special Cream'.

This comes nearly a month after the product 'Herbal Health Jointcare' - which claimed to contain natural herbal ingredients and be steroid-free - was found to contain five potent Western medicinal ingredients, including a steroid.

In a media release, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said further investigation and testing of other products by the company revealed that six more products contained undeclared ingredients.

HSA said it has since seized the products from the company's premises at Kallang Pudding Road and stopped all sale of the products. HSA is currently investigating the manufacturing source of these products.

'Herbal Health Backplus' was marketed as a product to relieve back muscles and lower backache, as well as eliminate lethargy. HSA found that it contained an undeclared medicinal ingredient tadalafil.

'Herbal Health V+' was intended to improve men's vigour, enhance physical strength and stamina and promote higher self-esteem. Two undeclared ingredients, tadalafil and sildenafil, were detected in this product.

Both tadalafil and sildenafil are potent western medicinal ingredients used to treat erectile dysfunction. They can cause serious adverse effects and should not be taken without medical supervision, HSA said.

In the case of patients with heart conditions, these products can interact with the patients' medications such as nitrates and can cause death.

The 'Herbal Health' range of creams - 'Herbal Health RU Special Cream', 'Herbal Health YI Special Cream',  'Herbal Health JI Special Cream' and 'Herbal Health XIANG Special Cream' -  claimed to treat skin conditions such as itch, eczema, dry skin, scaling heels and fungal infections but did not list any active ingredients on their labels.

HSA's testing revealed that they contained undeclared western medicinal ingredients which included an anti-allergy ingredient, chlorpheniramine, and anti-fungal ingredients, clotrimazole, miconazole and terbinafine.

Members of the public who are consuming or using these products are advised to stop using these products immediately and seek medical advice if they feel unwell.

HSA advised members of the public to be wary of complementary health products promising 'miraculous cures' and/or providing rapid relief of their medical conditions. Those with acute and chronic medical symptoms and conditions should not self-medicate and instead seek proper medical treatment.

"HSA will take strong enforcement actions against those who engage in the sale and supply of health products containing undeclared potent medicinal ingredients. Anyone found to contravene the Poisons Act faces a penalty of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment for a period of up to two years under the Poisons Act," HSA warned.

Members of the public who have any information on the sale of the 'Herbal Health' products or other illegal products may contact HSA's Enforcement Branch at 6866-3485 or email hsa_is@hsa.gov.sg.

yamadak@sph.com.sg