Asia

HSA warns public against buying and using 3 'slimming' health products

SINGAPORE – The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has warned members of the public to avoid buying or consuming three health products.

They are: Magic Mocha, Thao Moc Ho Tro Giam Beo Cenly, and Cynthia Beauty EazyS Instant Coffee Powder.

The products were found to contain the banned substance sibutramine, which can cause serious adverse effects, said the HSA on Wednesday (Nov 10).

The agency has also received three reports from consumers who have experienced symptoms such as palpitations, nausea, extreme thirst, migraine and dizziness after taking the products.

The continued intake of these products could have led to serious health consequences such as heart problems and central nervous system disorders, added the HSA.

The three products were sold on Carousell, Lazada, Shopee, Qoo10, Facebook and Instagram, and marketed with claims that they were “fast-acting” and “fat-burning”, as well as that they could “reduce fat storage” and “accelerate the breakdown of stubborn fat”, among others.

The HSA said it issued warnings to the sellers, and the product listings have been removed from the online platforms.

Sibutramine was a prescription-only weight loss medicine that has been banned in Singapore since 2010 as it posed an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

In 2019, a woman who took the medicine experienced an extremely fast heart rate and fell unconscious.

She was resuscitated and implanted with a defibrillator to help her heart function.

The HSA said consumers should stop taking the three products immediately and consult a doctor if they feel unwell or are concerned about their health.

They should also be wary of products that carry exaggerated claims or deliver unexpectedly quick effects, and exercise caution when buying such items online or from well-meaning friends.

“There is no quick and easy way to lose weight,” the agency said, adding that weight control should be achieved through a combination of balanced diet and appropriate exercise.

“If you need help managing your weight, please consult your doctor, dietitian or a healthcare professional,” the HSA said.

Those selling the products must stop immediately, as it is illegal to sell or supply health products containing banned substances.

Anyone convicted of doing so can be jailed for up to two years, fined up to $10,000, or both.

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