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

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

Arize

Tadalafil or Nortadalafil (PDE-5 inhibitors)

Health Canada

Black Panther

Yohimbe

Health Canada

Blue Rhino Super Long Lasting Extreme 1000K

Sildenafil (PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv Set

Hydroquinone and Tretinoin

Health Canada

Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv Topical Solution (Toner)

Hydroquinone and Tretinoin

Health Canada

Brilliant Skin Essentials Rejuvenating Facial Toner

Hydroquinone and Tretinoin

Health Canada

Flashhskinzz Moist Sunscreen

Mercury

Malaysia National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency

Gold Lion Honey

Sildenafil (PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Iron Brothers Supplements Thermo Burn

Yohimbine

Health Canada

Karisma Preventing Day Cream

Mercury

Malaysia National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency

Killer Labz Stim Reaper –Orange Mango

Rauwolscine

Health Canada

Killer Labz Stim Reaper –Furious Punch

Rauwolscine

Health Canada

Killer Labz Stim Reaper – American Pop

Rauwolscine

Health Canada

Killer Labz Stim Reaper – Blue Raspberry

Rauwolscine

Health Canada

Killer Labz Stim Reaper – Watermelon

Rauwolscine

Health Canada

Mielle Professional Blondie Anne Treatment Color Cream 9NY (Navy)

m-Phenylenediamine

Thailand Food and Drug Administration

NutriFitt Serum Pre Workout

Rauwolfia and Yohimbine

Health Canada

Oh Baby! Platinum

Sildenafil and Tadalafil

(PDE-5 inhibitors)

Health Canada

Pink Pussycat

Hydroxythiohomo-sildenafil

(PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Pink Pussycat Honey

Sildenafil and Tadalafil (PDE-5 inhibitors)

Health Canada

PrimeZen Black 6000

Sildenafil and Tadalafil

(PDE-5-inhibitors)

United States Food and Drug Administration

Rhino 7 Platinum 5000

Sildenafil (PDE-5 inhibitor) and Yohimbe

Health Canada

Rhino 69

Sildenafil (PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Rhino 69 (Triple)

Sildenafil (PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

Rhino 70000

Sildenafil (PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

SEEDBEE Water Coloring Medium Brown

o-Aminophenol

Thailand Food and Drug Administration

SEEDBEE Water Coloring Wine Brown

o-Aminophenol

Thailand Food and Drug Administration

Serene Treatment Cream

Mercury

Malaysia National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency

SL Two Kunyit

Betamethasone and Mercury

Malaysia National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency

SL Two Sarang Burung

Betamethasone, Hydroquinone and Tretinoin

Malaysia National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency

SL Two Kunyit

Betamethasone and Mercury

Malaysia National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency

SL Two Sarang Burung

Betamethasone, Hydroquinone and Tretinoin

Malaysia National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency

Soloco

Tadalafil (PDE-5-inhibitor)

Hong Kong Department of Health

Tempias Hawa Master Recovery Skin Rskin

Mercury

Malaysia National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency

VIP GO Rhino 69K

Yohimbe

Health Canada

7K

Yohimbe

Health Canada

7K Max Power

Yohimbe

Health Canada

3800 Hard Rock

Tadalafil (PDE-5 inhibitor)

Health Canada

5150 Stim Crazy Pre Workout

Rauwolfia

Health Canada

 

Annex B

The possible side effects of the potent ingredients

o-Aminophenol

o-Aminophenol is a chemical that is not allowed to be present in hair dyes or hair colouring products. It can cause skin allergies and eye irritation, and potentially serious eye damage. Acute toxicity can occur when ingested orally or inhaled, causing asthma symptoms, or breathing difficulties. Damage to the kidneys may occur through prolonged or repeated exposure.

 

Betamethasone

Betamethasone is a potent steroid that is usually prescribed for inflammatory conditions, and it should only be used under strict medical supervision. 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).

 

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.

 

m-Phenylenediamine

m-Phenylenediamine is a chemical that is not allowed to be present in cosmetic products, including hair dyes and hair colouring products. It is harmful if inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through the skin, causing irritation of the eyes, skin, mucous membrane and respiratory tract. Other symptoms of exposure include headache, dizziness, mental confusion, dermatitis, skin sensitization reactions, cyanosis and bronchial asthma. Eye contact may cause blurring of vision, conjunctivitis and swelling of the eye. Long-term exposure may lead to more serious symptoms such as methemoglobinemia, kidney and liver 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.

 

Rauwolfia / Rauwolscine

Rauwolscine (also known as alpha-yohimbine) is one of the many chemical compounds found in the Rauwolfia plant. The use of Rauwolfia has been associated with low blood pressure, dizziness, tiredness, drowsiness, irregular heartbeat and breathlessness. Depression or worsening depression has been reported with the use of Rauwolfia.

 

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 / Yohimbine

Yohimbine is a potent medicinal ingredient derived from yohimbe, a bark extract. 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_March_FINAL1263 KB

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