HSA warns of potent steroids in traditional herbal remedy

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has warned members of the public not to purchase or consume ‘PHQ 1001 Khasiat Penawar Herba Qaseh Serata Herb’.

The product was marketed as a traditional herbal remedy for a variety of medical conditions such as pain, impotence, kidney diseases and stroke, HSA said in a press statement on April 4, 2017. 

Photo courtesy: Health Sciences Authority
Photo courtesy: Health Sciences Authority

A consumer developed serious steroid induced side effects and diabetes after taking it. It was tested by HSA to contain multiple undeclared potent western medicines.

This product is sold on social media platforms and overseas websites, and some consumers may have obtained it through their friends or relatives. 

A Malay female in her 60s took the product for her knee pain and obtained rapid relief of the pain. However, she experienced rapid weight gain and developed a puffy face after consuming it regularly for a few months.

Photo courtesy: Health Sciences Authority
Photo courtesy: Health Sciences Authority

She was diagnosed with diabetes and Cushing’s syndrome (a condition caused by prolonged ingestion of steroids, characterised by the appearance of round face or ‘moon face’ and upper body obesity with thin limbs). These medical conditions are likely to have been caused by the presence of dexamethasone (a potent steroid) in the product.

The consumer had obtained the product through a social media platform. According to her doctor, a few of the consumer’s friends, who also consumed the product, experienced weight gain. This was likely to have been caused by the steroids in the product.

Photo courtesy: Health Sciences Authority
Photo courtesy: Health Sciences Authority

HSA urged members of the public to consult a doctor immediate if they are taking the ‘PHQ 1001 Khasiat Penawar Herba Qaseh Serata Herb’. The authority also warned that sudden discontinuation of steroids without proper medical supervision can cause serious withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, confusion and low blood pressure.

Sellers must stop selling ‘PHQ 1001 Khasiat Penawar Herba Qaseh Serata Herb’ immediately. It is illegal to sell and supply complementary health products containing undeclared potent western medicines.

Non-compliance is liable to prosecution and if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to 3 years and/or fined up to $100,000.

Author
Kareyst Lin
Kareyst Lin – Senior Writer

Kareyst has experience in writing about B2B technology for Computerworld Singapore, MIS Asia and CIO Asia; and on government technology for GCIO Asia. Her pet areas are artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and smart cities - these are fueled by her obsession with sci-fi movies and philosophy of mind. 

Sometimes she writes with light. 

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