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HSA updates on products found overseas that contain potent ingredients (August 2023)

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) would like to update the public on products that have been found and reported by overseas regulators in August 2023 to contain potent ingredients which are not allowed in these products and may cause side effects. This information is provided to increase awareness on safety issues of such products found overseas, which may impact the local population. Please refer to Annex A and Annex B for the list of products and the possible side effects of the potent ingredients. Please refer to the pdf document for images of the products.

HSA’s Advisory

2          Members of the public are advised to:

  • Consult a doctor if you have consumed any of the products and are feeling unwell.
  • Avoid buying any of the products when abroad.
  • Exercise caution when purchasing health products online or from sources (either local or overseas) which you may not be familiar with, even if well-meaning friends or relatives have recommended them. You cannot be certain where and how these products were made. They may be illegal, counterfeit or substandard, and may contain potent ingredients which can harm your health. If buying health products online, we encourage you to buy them from websites with an established retail presence in Singapore.
  • Be wary of products that promise quick and miraculous results or carry exaggerated claims like “100% safe”, “no side effects” or “scientifically proven”. Consumers should also be cautious of products that produce unexpected quick recovery of medical conditions.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you need help for the management of your acute and chronic medical symptoms and conditions (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, eczema).

3          Additionally, members of the public are encouraged to visit https://www.hsa.gov.sg/consumer-safety/ to learn more about the dangers of buying health products from dubious sources.

4          Members of the public who come across the sale and supply of these products in Singapore may contact HSA's Enforcement Branch at Tel: 6866 3485 during office hours (Monday to Friday) or email: hsa_is@hsa.gov.sg.

Annex A

List of Products

Note: There may be different versions or variants of the products listed below. You are advised to consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure of any health product you intend to use, or if you need help for your acute and chronic medical symptoms and conditions

Name of product

Potent ingredient(s)

Source

(Regulatory Agency)

BANG

Sildenafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

BIG GUYS Extreme Power Male Energy Supplement

Sildenafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

United States Food and Drug Administration

BL Ledehh Day Cream 2

Mercury

Malaysia National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency

BL Ledehh Night Cream

Mercury

Malaysia National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency

Black Panther

Sildenafil,Tadalafil (PDE-5 inhibitors) and Yohimbe

Health Canada

Black Panther Super 500K

Levodopa and Prasterone

Health Canada

Blue Rhino

Sildenafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Blue Rhino Honey

Sildenafil and Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitors)

Health Canada

FEG Eyelash Enhancer

Bimatoprost

Health Canada

For U Night Cream

Betamethasone (Corticosteroid), Hydroquinone and Tretinoin

Malaysia National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency

FX 35000

Sildenafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Genergy

Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

United States Food and Drug Administration

Gimmick Whitening Day & Night Cream

Mercury

Thailand Food and Drug Administration

Ginseng Red

Sildenafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Golden Men Plaster

Methyl salicylate

Malaysia National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency

Golden Men Spray

Methyl salicylate

Malaysia National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency

HE-MINT

Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Hong Kong Department of Health

Jaguar

Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Lucky Lady

Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Magnum

Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Magnum XXL 500K

Levodopa and Prasterone

Health Canada

Magnum XXL 9800

Levodopa and Prasterone

Health Canada

MENS MAXIMUM Energy Supplement

Sildenafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

United States Food and Drug Administration

Multi-Peptide Lash Serum

Bimatoprost

Health Canada

Pink Pussycat

Hydroxythiohomosildenafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Pink Unicorn

Sildenafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Q’Care White คิวแคร์ ครีมประทินผิวสูตร ขมิ้น

Betamethasone (Corticosteroid) and Mercury

Thailand Food and Drug Administration

Q’Care White คิวแคร์ ลดรอยดำ

Betamethasone (Corticosteroid) and Hydroquinone

Thailand Food and Drug Administration

Rhino 7 Platinum 900K

Levodopa and Prasterone

Health Canada

Rhino 25

Yohimbe

Health Canada

Rhino 15000

Sildenafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Rhino 70000

Sildenafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Rhino X 69 Gold 500k

Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Rhino X 69 Silver 500K

Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

ROUND 2

Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

United States Food and Drug Administration

Rush Hour Plus

Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Shiva Gold

Sildenafil and Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitors)

Health Canada

Stiff Rock

Sildenafil and Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitors)

Health Canada

Super Panther

Yohimbe

Health Canada

Titanium 4000

Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Vegetal Vigra 200mg

Sildenafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

United States Food and Drug Administration

WeFun

Sildenafil|
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

United States Food and Drug Administration

White Panther

Yohimbe

Health Canada

X MAX Triple Shot Energy Honey

Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

United States Food and Drug Administration

3800 HARD ROCK

Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

廯康王草本乳膏

Clobetasol (Corticosteroid), Miconazole and Terbinafine

Hong Kong Department of Health

 

Annex B

The possible side effects of the potent ingredients

Bimatoprost

Bimatoprost is a medicine used to lower the intraocular pressure of the eye in glaucoma. It should be used under medical supervision as it can cause side effects such as blurred vision, eye irritation, darkened eyelid skin, iris colour change, eye inflammation and macular oedema and hyperemia.

 

Corticosteroids

Betamethasone 17-Valerate, Clobetasol propionate and Dexamethasone are potent steroids that are usually prescribed for inflammatory conditions and should only be used under strict medical supervision. Long-term unsupervised use of steroids (including topical use where the steroid can be absorbed into the body) can cause increased blood glucose levels (which may lead to diabetes), high blood pressure, cataracts, muscular and bone disorders, an increased risk of infections and Cushing’s syndrome (a round face or ‘moon face’ appearance and upper body obesity with thin limbs). Discontinuation of steroids without proper medical supervision can cause serious withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, confusion and low blood pressure, especially when the product has been taken for more than a few weeks.

 

Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is a potent ingredient used in prescription medicines for the treatment of skin conditions. The ingredient is prohibited in skincare cosmetic products and should only be used under medical supervision, as hydroquinone may cause harmful effects if not used properly. The inappropriate use of hydroquinone could result in changes in skin colour and hypersensitivity reactions such as rashes, redness, tingling and burning of skin.

 

Levodopa

Levodopa or L-Dopa is a prescription medicine used in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease and should be used under medical supervision. Levodopa may potentially interact with medicines used to treat high blood pressure. Side effects of levodopa may include low blood pressure, irregular heart rate and breathing abnormalities.

 

Mercury

Mercury is a toxic substance and is prohibited for use as an ingredient in cosmetic products. Regular application of creams containing mercury could lead to rash, skin discolouration and blotching. Chronic exposure to very high levels of mercury in cosmetic products may also cause toxic effects to the kidneys, digestive and nervous system, as it can be absorbed through the skin. This could lead to organ damage.

 

Methyl salicylate

Methyl salicylate is commonly used in topical medicines for temporary relief of muscle or joint pain caused by sprains or arthritis. Side effects are usually allergy related, such as hives, difficulty in breathing and swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat. Methyl salicylate can cause serious side effects in young children and patients allergic to aspirin and other salicylates.

 

Miconazole

Miconazole is a medicine used to treat fungal infections. Side effects from inappropriate use of creams containing miconazole include burning, stinging, swelling, irritation, redness and flaking of the skin.

 

Phosphodiesterase Type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitors

This class of medicine includes carbodenafil, sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil and their derivatives. These medicines can cause serious side effects such as strokes, heart attacks, decreased or loss of vision and hearing and priapism (painful and exceedingly long erections). If priapism is not treated immediately, it may lead to permanent impotence. PDE-5 inhibitors are also not suitable for patients with medical conditions such as certain heart-related problems or who are on heart medications such as nitrates. Deaths of patients found to be using sildenafil while on nitrates have been reported overseas.

 

Prasterone

Prasterone is also known as Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). It is a hormone that could increase the risk of prostate, breast, ovarian and other hormone-sensitive cancers. Side effects may include serious cardiovascular disease, changes in fertility and sperm production, hair loss, voice deepening, insulin resistance, changes in menstrual pattern, liver dysfunction, abdominal pain, and high blood pressure.

 

Terbinafine

Terbinafine is a medicine used to treat fungal infections. Side effects associated with inappropriate use of creams containing terbinafine include skin peeling, itching, redness, and burning.  

 

Tretinoin

Tretinoin is a potent ingredient used in prescription medicines for the treatment of skin conditions and should be used under medical supervision. The ingredient is prohibited in skincare cosmetic products. Inappropriate use of tretinoin could lead to side effects such as redness and peeling of skin.

 

Yohimbe

Yohimbe is a bark extract from which a potent medicinal ingredient, Yohimbine, is derived. Side effects associated with yohimbe or yohimbine include insomnia, anxiety, palpitations (sensation of heart pounding, racing or skipped beats), sweating and blurred vision. Overdosage can cause low blood pressure, rapid heartbeats, seizures, paralysis and coma. Deaths from overdose have also been reported.

Download PDF: HSA Foreign Alert_2023_Aug1084 KB

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