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Recall of proprietary Chinese medicine with Western drugingredients

  • 2005.09.29

The Department of Health (DH) today (September 29) urged people not to buy or consume a proprietary Chinese medicine called "Shortclean" (消糖宁胶囊) which was found to contain Western drug ingredients and may cause side effects.

The importing company of the product has been instructed to recall the product from the market and to surrender it to DH. People who have purchased the product should immediately stop using it and seek medical advice. So far, the department has not received any report of adverse effects after taking this product.

A department spokesman said that during a recent round of sampling exercise, a sample of the product was purchased for testing the presence of Western drug ingredients. It was found to contain Western drug ingredients-phenformin (苯乙双胍) and glibenclamide (格列本脲).

Phenformin (苯乙双胍) has been banned in Hong Kong since 1985 and was previously used for management of diabetes. It was associated with an unacceptably high incidence of lactic acidosis (乳酸性酸中毒) which could be fatal.

Glibenclamide (格列本脲) is a Western drug ingredient used for management of diabetes. It should only be used under medical supervision. Its known side-effects are nausea and gastro-intestinal upset. Products containing this drug ingredient are Third Schedule poisons under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance and can only be sold on a doctor's prescription and supervision by a pharmacist.

People are advised to dispose of the product or return the product to the importing company (telephone number 3565 1228). They may also submit the product to the Pharmaceutical Service of DH at 3/F, Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon during office hours.

The department has also set up a hotline 2319 2839 for enquiries during office hours.

The spokesman reminded importers, wholesalers and retailers that the possession and sale of unregistered pharmaceutical products was an offence liable to a maximum penalty of $100,000 fine and two years' imprisonment.

"People with diabetes should consult medical professionals for appropriate advice or medication if necessary," he said.

Reprinted from HKSAR Government web page: