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HSA also warned the public not to purchase or use two other health products; AlphaMiracHERBS and ‘Shu Jin’ capsules. 

A woman in her 60s who had been consuming ‘Shu Jin’ capsules regularly for more 10 years for joint pain had to be hospitalised shortly after she stopped taking it, said HSA. 

She reportedly experienced fever, giddiness, joint pain and loss of appetite. She was then diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency – a serious steroid withdrawal condition – and osteoporosis. 

She told HSA that her relative had obtained the product from a clinic in Malaysia. 

Meanwhile, a man in his 60s developed Cushing’s syndrome, a serious steroid-induced condition, after taking ‘AlphaMiracHERBS’ capsules for three to four months for psoriasis, an inflammatory skin condition.

He reportedly gained about 10kg and developed a round face. He also told HSA that he had obtained the product from Malaysia through his friend. 

The cases were reported to HSA by the patient’s treating physicians.

‘AlphaMiracHERBS’ was falsely marketed as a “herbal supplement for inflammation” containing “100% vegetarian herbs”. 

However, it was tested to contain multiple potent ingredients including dexamethasone, a steroid, lovastatin, a cholesterol-reducing medicine and antibiotics such as chloramphenicol and tetracycline.

An antihistamine, chlorpheniramine, and a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, ibuprofen, were also detected in the pills. 

‘Shu Jin’ capsules were also tested by HSA to contain multiple potent ingredients including dexamethasone, chlorpheniramine and atorvastatin, a cholesterol-reducing medicine.

“Long-term unsupervised use of steroids such as dexamethasone can cause increased blood glucose levels which may lead to diabetes, Cushing’s syndrome, and other serious adverse effects,” said HSA. 

HSA has urged those using these products to see a doctor “as soon as possible”. 

Sudden stopping of these products without medical supervision may result in the worsening of underlying medical conditions or other serious withdrawal conditions such as adrenal insufficiency, said HSA. 

The authority has also warned sellers and suppliers to stop selling these products immediately. 

“HSA will not hesitate to take stern enforcement actions against anyone who sells and/or supplies products found to be adulterated with potent medicinal ingredients,” said the authority. 

Those found to be supplies or sellers of such health products can be prosecuted and if convicted, could face a fine of up to S$100,000, a jail term of up to two years or both.

Members of the public who have any information on the sale and supply of these illegal products may contact HSA’s Enforcement Branch at 6866-3485 during office hours or send an hsa_is [at] hsa.gov.sg (email).

This content was originally published here.

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Michael Bourdon

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