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Public urged not to buy or consume slimming product with undeclared Western drug ingredients (with photo)
The Department of Health (DH) today (August 13) appealed to the public not to buy or consume a slimming product named Fit Fit Day as it was found to contain undeclared and banned drug ingredients that might be dangerous to one's health.
Acting upon a public complaint, a sample of the above product was purchased via a social media network platform for analysis. Test results from the Government Laboratory revealed that the sample contained sibutramine, fluoxetine and orlistat, which are all Part 1 poisons under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap 138) (the Ordinance). The DH's investigation is continuing.
Sibutramine was once used as an appetite suppressant. Since November 2010, pharmaceutical products containing sibutramine have been banned in Hong Kong because of an increased cardiovascular risk. Fluoxetine is used for treatment of mood disorders and may cause hallucinations and insomnia. Meanwhile, orlistat is used for the treatment of obesity. Its side effects include faecal urgency, fatty stool, increased frequency of defecation, faecal incontinence, headaches and abdominal pain. Severe liver injuries may also be induced.
According to the Ordinance, all pharmaceutical products must be registered with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong before they can be legally sold in the market. Illegal sale or possession of unregistered pharmaceutical products or Part 1 poisons are criminal offences. The maximum penalty for each offence is a fine of $100,000 and two years' imprisonment.
The DH spokesman strongly urged members of the public not to buy products of unknown or doubtful composition, or to consume products from unknown sources. Members of the public who have purchased the above product should stop consuming it immediately. They should consult healthcare professionals for advice if feeling unwell after consumption.
The spokesman added that weight control should be achieved through a balanced diet and appropriate exercise. The public should consult healthcare professionals before using any medication for weight control. They may visit the website of the Drug Office of the DH for "Health messages on overweight problem and slimming products" and "Information on slimming products with undeclared Western drug ingredients" for more information.
The public may submit the above product to the Drug Office of the DH at Room 1801, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, during office hours for disposal.
Reposted from HKSAR Government webpage: