Skip to main content

Diabetic patients urged not to take drugs without medical advice

  • 2006.03.10

Yixintangbao Jiangtangning JiaonangThe Department of Health (DH) today (March 10) called on diabetic patients not to take products for lowering blood sugar without consulting qualified health professionals.

The appeal followed an investigation into a case involving a 48-year-old woman who was admitted to United Christian Hospital for drowsiness in February this year. She has recovered and been discharged after treatment.

The patient revealed a history of taking a brand of proprietary Chinese medicine "Yixintangbao Jiangtangning Jiaonang" bought in the Mainland for her diabetes since 2005.

It was suspected that the woman's symptom was caused by the product.

A DH spokesman said samples of two different batches of the product taken for laboratory tests were found to contain two western drug ingredients -rosiglitazone and pioglitazone.

The two drug ingredients are used for the management of diabetes. Its known side-effects are headache, dizziness and lower limb oedema. 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 supervision by a pharmacist.

Initial enquiries also revealed that if the daily maximum dosage as printed on the package is followed, then one ingredient, namely rosiglitazone, would exceed the maximum level prescribed in western medical practice.

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

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

DH has no record of this product having been imported into Hong Kong for sale, or having been submitted to the department for registration. DH will inform the relevant authorities in the Mainland and Macao about this case.

The spokesman said people with diabetes should consult medical professionals for appropriate advice and medication if necessary.

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

Reprinted from HKSAR Government web page: