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Western drug ingredients found in medical products from Mainland China

  • 2005.12.01
Fufang Danshen Pian (Batch No. 0504091)Troxerutin tablets (Batch No. 040501)

The Department of Health (DH) today (December 1) called on members of the public not to buy or use a proprietary Chinese medicine "Fufang Danshen Pian" (Batch No. 0504091) and a pharmaceutical product "Troxerutin tablets" (Batch No. 040501) which contained western drug ingredients that may cause side effects.

The appeal followed an investigation into a case involving a 47-year-old man who was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital for chest pain on October 31. He has recovered and been discharged.

The patient revealed a history of taking the two products for hypertension for about three months and the products were obtained from Mainland China. His chest pain was not caused by the products.

A DH spokesman said that laboratory tests on the two products revealed that "Fufang Danshen Pian" was found to contain western drug ingredients - paracetamol and "Troxerutin tablets" contained phenacetin and aminopyrine which were not declared on the labels.

Paracetamol is a pain killer but when taken in high doses can cause liver damage. Products containing paracetamol can be bought over-the-counter.

Phenacetin and aminopyrine were used previously as pain killers but were banned in Hong Kong in 1983 and 1984 respectively due to their severe side effects. Phenacetin may cause haemolytic anaemia, methaemoglobinaemia and sulfhaemoglobinaemia while aminopyrine may lead to agranulocytosis. 

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

They should dispose of the products or submit the products to the DH's Pharmaceutical Service at the third floor, Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon during office hours.

The DH has no record of these products having been imported into Hong Kong for sale, or having been submitted for registration. The DH has informed the relevant authorities in Mainland China and Macao about this case.

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

DH has set up a telephone hotline 2319 2839 during office hours for answering health enquiries from the public.

Reprinted from HKSAR Government web page: