Public urged not to take slimming product with undeclared drug ingredients
The Department of Health today urged the public not to buy or consume a slimming product named "2 Day Diet" as it was found to contain undeclared Western drug ingredients which may cause serious side effects.
A department spokesman said that a box of the product was obtained from an internet auction site during a joint investigation with the Police.
Laboratory tests on the product samples today showed the presence of undeclared Western drugs, phenolphthalein and sibutramine.
The spokesman said phenolphthalein was once used for treating constipation but has been banned for its cancer causing effect.
Sibutramine is a Western medicine used as an appetite suppressant. Its side effects include increased blood pressure and heart rate, psychosis and possibly convulsion. People with heart problems should not take it.
A product containing sibutramine must be registered before it can be sold in Hong Kong. It can only be sold on a doctor's prescription and dispensed under the supervision of a pharmacist.
The spokesman said sale of unregistered pharmaceutical products was an offense under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance. Upon conviction, the maximum penalty is a fine of HK$100,000 and two years' imprisonment.
Members of the public should stop using the product immediately. They should consult their doctor for medical advice if they feel unwell after taking the product.
They should destroy and dispose of the product or submit it to the department's Pharmaceutical Service at 3/F, Public Health Laboratory Center, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon, during office hours.
The spokesman said, "Weight control should be achieved through a balanced diet and appropriate exercise. People should consult healthcare professionals before using