Two slimming products – ‘Nuvitra’ and ‘BeColi’ – sold online were found to contain a banned substance, sibutramine, and potent laxatives. Members of the public are warned not to purchase or consume them as they pose a serious health risk.
‘Nuvitra’ and ‘BeColi’ were marketed by NKD Singapore online as supplements for slimming, with claims that weight loss can be achieved within a short period of time. ‘Nuvitra’ (also marketed as ‘Nuvitra King Diet’) was also sold on various local online platforms by other sellers.
Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has directed NKD Singapore to stop the sale of these products, and the administrators of online sales platforms to remove web listings of the products. The company is assisting HSA in its investigations.
Sibutramine, which was detected in both products, was previously available as a prescription-only weight loss drug. It has been withdrawn from Singapore since 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Other serious adverse effects associated with its use include high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, hallucinations and mood swings.
HSA had previously received adverse effect reports about consumers experiencing hallucinations or hearing voices, palpitations and breathlessness after consuming slimming products that contain sibutramine.
Sennosides and bisacodyl are laxatives that are used for the relief of constipation. Adverse effects associated with the use of such laxatives include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea.
Prolonged use may cause watery diarrhoea and lead to fluid and electrolyte abnormalities and colonic atony (lack of muscle strength in the large intestine that may result in chronic constipation).