Nutrition

‘Potent’ medicinal ingredients, banned substance found in five health products

HSA detected and seized Speedy Slim Capsules (Black) and Speedy Slim Capsules (Gold) following feedback from members of the public that there were unapproved slimming products being sold on Instagram. 

These products made exaggerated claims such as “target at breaking down stubborn extra fat”, “cut off starch absorption”, and “losing weight and clearing fat”. 

They were subsequently found to contain very high levels of sibutramine, a prescription-only weight loss medicine that has been banned since 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. 

Other serious adverse effects reported in the past by consumers who took products adulterated with sibutramine include insomnia and hallucinations. 

In 2019, a consumer experienced extremely fast heart rate and became unconscious. She was resuscitated and suffered debilitating consequences, including requiring the implantation of a defibrillator (a medical device) to help her heart to function.

Those who have taken Speedy Slim Capsules are advised to stop consuming them immediately and consult a doctor if they feel unwell or are concerned about their health.

“There is no quick and easy way to lose weight,” said HSA. 

“Weight control should be achieved through a combination of balanced diet and appropriate exercise. Those who need help managing their weight should consult a doctor, dietitian or a healthcare professional.”

ADVISORY TO SELLERS AND SUPPLIERS

It added that consumers should be wary of products that carry exaggerated claims or deliver unexpectedly quick results, such as fast weight loss or immediate pain relief. This is because they can contain potent ingredients that can seriously harm your health. 

Consumers should also exercise caution when buying such products online or from well-meaning friends as they cannot be certain where and how these products were made and whether they have been adulterated with harmful ingredients. 

All sellers and suppliers must stop selling these products immediately, added HSA.

The authority said it will not hesitate to take stern enforcement actions against anyone who sells and/or supplies products found to be adulterated with potent medicinal ingredients. 

Sellers and suppliers can be prosecuted. If convicted, they can be jailed for up to 3 years and/or fined up to S$100,000.

 

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