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Warning on health product with Western drug ingredients

  • 2005.10.05

The Department of Health today (October 5) called on members of the public not to buy or use a brand of health product, "Shen Loon Capsule" (神農丸), which contained Western drug ingredients that could cause harmful side effects.

The appeal followed an investigation into a case involving a 74-year-old man. He was found to have abnormal liver function during blood testing while he was receiving follow-up treatment for multiple health problems in the United Christian Hospital.

He revealed a history of taking the product for joint pain for seven years and said the product was purchased from Malaysia. It was suspected that his abnormal liver function was caused by the product.

A department spokesman said that a sample of the product taken for laboratory tests was found to contain Western drug ingredients - piroxicam (吡羅昔康) and frusemide (呋塞米).

Piroxicam is a pain killer. It can cause gastrointestinal discomfort and liver damage.

Frusemide is used to remove excess water from the body. It can cause gastrointestinal discomfort and dizziness.

Products containing these drug ingredients are Third Schedule poisons under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance and can only be sold on a doctor's prescription and under supervision by a pharmacist.

Members of the public who have been using the product are advised to stop taking it immediately and to seek medical attention if they feel unwell.

They should dispose of the product or bring it to the Department of Health's Pharmaceutical Service, 3/F Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon during office hours.

The department will inform the health authorities in Malaysia, the Mainland and Macau about this case.

The spokesman said people with joint pain should consult medical professionals for appropriate advice or medication if necessary.

The department is operating an enquiries hotline, 2319 2839, during office hours.

Reprinted from HKSAR Government web page: