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3 reports of consumers suffering adverse effects after taking slimming products containing banned substance: HSA

SINGAPORE — Three people have reported experiencing palpitations, nausea, extreme thirst, migraine and dizziness after taking slimming products that were found by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) to contain sibutramine, a banned substance.

3 reports of consumers suffering adverse effects after taking slimming products containing banned substance: HSA

Products containing sibutramine, a banned substance: Thao Moc Ho Tro Giam Beo Cenly (top left), Magic Mocha (top right) and Cynthia Beauty EazyS Instant Coffee Powder (bottom).

SINGAPORE — Three people have reported experiencing palpitations, nausea, extreme thirst, migraine and dizziness after taking slimming products that were found by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) to contain sibutramine, a banned substance.

The continued intake of these products could have caused serious health consequences such as heart problems and disorders of the central nervous system, including psychosis and hallucinations, HSA said on Wednesday. 

It warned the public against buying or consuming the three products: 

  • Magic Mocha
  • Thao Moc Ho Tro Giam Beo Cenly
  • Cynthia Beauty EazyS Instant Coffee Powder

They contain sibutramine, which can cause serious adverse effects, the health regulator said in a statement.

The three products were marketed on e-commerce sites Carousell, Lazada, Shopee and Qoo10 and social networks Facebook and Instagram as slimming products. They carried misleading claims such as “fast-acting”, “fat-burning”, “reduce fat storage” and “accelerate the breakdown of stubborn fat”, HSA said.

It has since issued warnings to the sellers over the products and the online listings have been removed.

Consumers who have bought or taken any of the products are advised to stop using them immediately and see a doctor if they are unwell or concerned about their health.

Sellers and suppliers of these products must also stop selling them immediately.

Sibutramine is a prescription-only weight loss medicine that was banned in 2010 because of an increased risk of heart attack and strokes.

Other serious effects reported by consumers who took products containing sibutramine included insomnia and hallucinations.

In 2019, a woman developed an extremely fast heart rate, lost consciousness and had to be resuscitated. She also suffered debilitating consequences needing the implantation of a medical device to help her heart function. 

Sellers and suppliers convicted of selling and supplying products found to contain banned substances can receive a jail term of up to 2 years or a fine of up to S$10,000, or both. 

HSA advised the public to be wary of products that carry exaggerated claims of delivering unexpectedly quick results, because they may contain ingredients that can cause serious harm to one’s health.

Consumers should also exercise caution when buying products online or from friends. 

The authority added that there was no “quick and easy” way to lose weight, and people should control their weight through a balanced diet and exercise.

Related topics

HSA sibutramine weight loss e-commerce health

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