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

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) would like to update the public on products that have been found and reported by overseas regulators in July 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)

Airee Beautycare Nigh Cream

Mercury

Malaysia National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency

Armila Beauty Kak ELL Pigment Booster

Betamethasone

Malaysia National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency

BL Ledehh Day Cream 1

Hydroquinone and Tretinoin

Malaysia National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency

DYNAMITE Male Sexual Enhancement

Sildenafil and Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitors)

United States Food & Drug Administration

Gen Bann Ultra, Testosterone Booster (red capsule)

Sildenafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Gen Bann Ultra, Testosterone Booster (black-red capsule)

Sildenafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Gen Bann Ultra, Testosterone Booster (red tablet)

Sildenafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Ginseng Red 2000

Sildenafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Hard AF!

Sildenafil and Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitors)

United States Food & Drug Administration

Hard AF Black 3500mg Male Sexual Dietary Supplement Pill

Sildenafil and Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitors)

United States Food & Drug Administration

NUX Male Enhancement

Sildenafil and Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitors)

United States Food & Drug Administration

ProPower Knight Plus 2550mg

Sildenafil and Tadalafil

(PDE-5 inhibitors)

United States Food & Drug Administration

Revita Vita-X-2

Caffeine and Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Rhino products

Sildenafil and Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitors)

United States Food & Drug Administration

Rhino 7 Platinum 5000

Sildenafil (PDE-5 inhibitor) and Yohimbe

Health Canada

Rhino 69 Extreme 600k

Sildenafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Rhino 69 Extreme 35000

Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Titanium 18K Male Sexual Enhancement Black Silver

Sildenafil and Tadalafil
(PDE-5 inhibitors)

United States Food & Drug Administration

 

Annex B

The possible side effects of the potent ingredients

Betamethasone

Betamethasone is a potent steroid. Long term use of an oral steroid without medical supervision can cause high blood pressure, cataracts, an increased risk of infections, and Cushing’s syndrome (characterised by the appearance of round face or ‘moon face’ and upper body obesity with thin limbs).

 

Caffeine

The inappropriate use of caffeine may lead to insomnia, agitation, restlessness, palpitations and increased heart rate.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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_July621 KB

Consumer, Healthcare professional, Industry member, Chinese Proprietary Medicines, Cosmetic products, Health supplements, Traditional medicines
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