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HSA Alert: Three Products Found to Contain Potent Medicinal Ingredients including High Levels of Banned Substance Sibutramine and Erectile Dysfunction Medicines

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is alerting members of the public not to purchase or consume ‘Fercy Dietary Supplement Product’, ‘TANDUK RUSA KUAT LELAKI’, and ‘mentalk candy’. HSA’s analysis of the products revealed that they contained potent medicinal ingredients, including sibutramine (a banned weight loss medicine), sennosides (laxative), sildenafil and tadalafil (potent erectile dysfunction medicines).

Product Name

Potent medicinal ingredients

Source

‘Fercy Dietary Supplement Product’

Sibutramine

(banned substance);

Sennosides

(laxative)

Local e-commerce platforms

 

‘TANDUK RUSA KUAT LELAKI’

Sildenafil

(potent erectile dysfunction medicine)

 

Local e-commerce platforms;

Parcel post detained by Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA)

‘mentalk candy’

Tadalafil

(potent erectile dysfunction medicine)

Local e-commerce platforms;

Parcel post detained by ICA

Please refer to Annex A of the pdf version for photos of the products and Annex B for more information on the medicinal ingredients found in these products.

2        ‘Fercy Dietary Supplement Product’, ‘TANDUK RUSA KUAT LELAKI’, and ‘mentalk candy’ were sold on multiple local e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and Qoo10. HSA has worked with the platform administrators to remove the affected listings and issued warnings to the respective sellers.

Dietary supplement  tested to contain high levels of banned weight loss medicine carried misleading claims and false labels

3        ‘Fercy Dietary Supplement Product’ was marketed as a supplement to “help control hunger”, “reduce appetite” and “help burning and slimming”. HSA tested a sample of the product and found that it contained high levels of sibutramine. Sibutramine was a prescription only weight loss medicine banned in Singapore since 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Other serious health consequences reported with its use include heart problems and central nervous system disorders (e.g., psychosis and hallucinations).

4        ‘Fercy Dietary Supplement Product’ was also found to contain sennosides, a laxative that is used for the relief of constipation. Adverse effects associated with its use include diarrhoea, dehydration and loss of essential minerals. Prolonged use may cause chronic constipation, fluid and electrolyte abnormalities, bloating and abdominal pain. The product was also falsely labelled to have “passed GMP audit", which may mislead consumers into believing that the product is safe and manufactured under high quality standards certified by Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).

"Herbal medicine" and candy detected to contain very high levels of potent erectile dysfunction medicines

5         Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers had alerted HSA to parcels found to contain ‘TANDUK RUSA KUAT LELAKI’ and ‘mentalk candy’. HSA also detected that these products were sold on local e-commerce platforms. ‘TANDUK RUSA KUAT LELAKI’ was marketed as an herbal medicine with “aphrodisiac” and “anti-impotence” effects and was tested by HSA to contain high levels of sildenafil. ‘Mentalk candy’ was packaged as a candy containing only ginseng and coffee but was tested to contain very high levels of tadalafil, up to 57 times higher than its usual prescribed daily dose. ‘Mentalk candy’ also carried a "certified authentic" hologram sticker and was labelled to be produced under “Sino-USA Collaboration Technology”, which may give the false impression that it is safe and of good quality.

6        Both sildenafil and tadalafil are prescription medicines used to treat erectile dysfunction and should only be given under medical supervision. Inappropriate use of sildenafil and tadalafil is dangerous and can increase the risk of serious adverse effects, including heart attack, stroke, headache, migraine, irregular heart rate and priapism (painful and exceedingly long erections). Both sildenafil and tadalafil can also pose serious risks to certain individuals, including those with heart-related problems.

Advisory to consumers

7        Consumers are advised to:

  • Stop taking ‘Fercy Dietary Supplement Product’, ‘TANDUK RUSA KUAT LELAKI’, and ‘mentalk candy’ immediately and consult a doctor if you feel unwell or are concerned about your health.
  • Do not buy products from unknown or unverifiable sources, and exercise caution when buying online or from overseas as you cannot be certain where and how these products were made and whether they have been adulterated with harmful ingredients. Adulterated products are often manufactured under poor conditions with no quality control. Different batches of the same product may contain variable amounts of ingredients and/or different types of adulterants. These products may appear well-packaged or labelled as certified to meet quality standards, but these are tactics used by unscrupulous manufacturers to falsely portray that the products are safe and of good quality, when in fact they contain potent ingredients which can seriously harm your health.
  • If buying online, only buy from reputable pharmacies or retailers’ websites or those with an established retail presence in Singapore.

Advisory to sellers and suppliers

8        All sellers and suppliers must stop selling these products immediately. HSA will not hesitate to take stern enforcement actions against anyone who sells and supplies products found to be adulterated with banned substances or potent ingredients. Sellers and suppliers are liable to prosecution and if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to 2 years and/or fined up to $50,000.

9        Members of the public who have any information on the sale and supply of these illegal products may contact HSA’s Enforcement Branch at Tel: 6866-3485 during office hours (Monday to Friday) or email: hsa_is@hsa.gov.sg.

HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY
SINGAPORE
21 SEPTEMBER 2023

Download pdf version here 530 KB

Consumer, Healthcare professional, Industry member, Therapeutic Products
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