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Recall of proprietary Chinese medicines with Western drug ingredients

  • 2005.10.06
Gu Ci DanXu Log Bou

The Department of Health (DH) today (October 6) urged members of the public not to buy or consume two brands of proprietary Chinese medicines called "Gu Ci Dan" (骨刺丹) and "Xu Log Bou" (风湿舒络宝) which were found to contain western drug ingredients and may cause side effects. 

The distributor of two products has been instructed to recall the product from the market and to surrender it to DH. Members of the public who have purchased the products should immediately stop using it and seek medical advice if they feel unwell. So far, DH has not received any report of adverse effects after taking the products.

A spokesman for DH said a sample of "Gu Ci Dan" (骨刺丹) was purchased when a complaint was received. Upon laboratory analysis, it was found to contain a western drug ingredient -- indomethacin (吲哚美辛).

DH's subsequent investigations revealed that the manufacturer of "Gu Ci Dan" has also produced "Xu Log Bou" using the same batch of raw material and suspected to contain indomethacin.

Indomethacin is a pain killer. It should only be used under medical supervision. Its known side-effects are gastro-intestinal disturbances including bleeding, headaches and dizziness. 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 under supervision by a pharmacist.

Members of the public are advised to dispose of the two products or return the products to the distributor (telephone number 2793 0123).

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.

DH 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 is an offence liable to a maximum penalty of $100,000 fine and two years' imprisonment.

"People with arthritis or severe pain should consult medical professionals for appropriate advice or medication if necessary," he added.

Reprinted from HKSAR Government web page: