MoH warns against using nine medicines

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Ministry of Health (MoH) warned the public against taking nine traditional medicines found to be adulterated with potent medicinal substances which should only be used under proper medical supervision.

A statement issued by the ministry said the products found contaminated with dexamethasone are Bio-Neuro Tablet, manufactured in Malaysia; Sarawak-made Pill Tupai Jantan Asli and Jamu Tradisional Pegel Linu Barongsai Brand, manufactured by Indonesia's P J H G Surabaya.

Some of the adverse effects from unsupervised consumption of dexamethasone are irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, bone fracture, swelling of the lower leg and increased risk of infection.

Asam Urat and Pengapuran Buah Naga Tunggal Jaya manufactured by Indonesia's PJ Andy Jaya and Asam Urat and Pengapuran Buah Naga manufactured by PT SM Jaya were found to contain phenylbutazone.

Long term use of phenylbutazone may lead to gastric pain, hearing disturbance, shortness of breath, swelling of face or lower legs and blood disorder, the statement read.

Other products were Kapsul Alam Tiongkok manufactured by PJ Bumi Sari Jaya and Xian Ling made by PJ Akar Mujarab, which were found to be adulterated with acetaminophen.

Long term consumption of acetaminophen, a drug used for pain and fever, may cause rashes, lower blood pressure and blood disorder and may lead to kidney and liver damage if one overdoses.

Fullcon Antihistamine by an unknown manufacturer was found to contain chlorpheniramine and Topmen Capsule manufactured by PT Karya Mandiri, was found to be adulterated with sildenafil.

Unsupervised ingestion of chlorpheniramine may lead to dizziness, lowering of blood pressure, confusion, incoordination and drowsiness.

Sildenafil is a drug used in the treatment of impotency and would result in serious adverse affects such as the lowering of blood pressure, when used together with some anti-hypertensive drugs.

The statement added that drug control authorities in neighbouring countries have recalled 357 Nasal Spray manufactured by China's Qiandongnan Likaqing Tec Co Ltd as it contains dexamethasone.

Hair Growth Tonic E-0583-D and Hair Growth Formula D-2653-B, manufactured by Beijing Zhangguang 101 Science and Technology Co Ltd, were found to be adulterated with minoxidil.

No approval has been given by the ministry for the importation and sale of these products, the statement added.

Consumers who have been taking any of these affected products were advised to stop taking it immediately and to discard it.

If anyone experiences any adverse reactions or feel unwell, they were advised to consult their doctors immediately.

It is an offence under Poison Act 1956 to sell any products containing substances controlled under the Poisons Act. The penalty for such an offence, upon conviction is a fine of $8,000 or imprisonment of six months.

For further information, the public can call the Pharmacy Enforcement Section, Department of Pharmaceutical Services at 2230036. — Susan Shim

The Brunei Times