The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) of Singapore has issued an advisory that citizens should stop purchasing and consuming weight loss product ‘Nutriline Bluvelle’ which is sold online. The product was tested by HSA and found to contain a banned substance sibutramine.
Issuing a press release, HSA said, “Nutriline Bluvelle was marketed as a health supplement for slimming, with claims that it contains natural plant ingredients which are ‘safe and free of side effects’. A female in her 20s experienced rapid heartbeats, anxiety, a drastic decrease in appetite, dizziness and lethargy after consuming ‘Nutriline Bluvelle’.”
“Such symptoms are common adverse reactions associated with the use of the banned substance, sibutramine. The consumer had purchased the product from an online shop based in Malaysia, but HSA has detected that the product was also sold on several other local and overseas online platforms. HSA is currently investigating the local sale of this product,” said HSA.
Sibutramine was previously available as a prescription-only weight loss drug but has been withdrawn from Singapore since 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Other serious adverse effects associated with the use of sibutramine include high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, hallucinations and mood swings.
The release added, “In the past, HSA had received adverse effect reports about consumers experiencing hallucinations or hearing voices, palpitations and breathlessness after consuming slimming products bought online. These products were tested to contain the banned substance sibutramine, even though they were marketed to contain natural ingredients. The level of sibutramine found in some of these products might result in a consumer unwittingly taking as high as up to eight times the maximum daily dosage of the prescribed amount of sibutramine, when it was previously available as a prescription-only drug. This would pose a very serious health hazard to consumers.”
Issuing an advisory, HSA said, “Stop taking ‘Nutriline Bluvelle’ immediately, and consult a doctor if you feel unwell or are concerned about your health and be wary of health products that promise or deliver quick and miraculous weight loss. Such products may contain prescription medicines which should only be taken under medical supervision, or undeclared potent or banned ingredients that may seriously harm your health.”
Members of the public are encouraged to visit www.healthdangers.sg to learn more about the dangers of buying health products from dubious sources.
Anyone who supplies illegal health products may be prosecuted and jailed for up to three years and/or fined up to SGD100,000 if convicted.