Several traditional medicines banned in Brunei
THE Ministry of Health has tested a number of medicines, proven to be adulterated with undeclared scheduled poisons and Western medicines.
Samples of the seven medicines namely Tawon Liar Kapsul, Linchee Ginseng Ko Pian Yuan, Rentan Capsules, Xyipaodaotianliang Yinguohongyuanshengwu, Emperor Huang Saint Medicine and Sehat Langsing were obtained from the post-marketing surveillance activities conducted by the Pharmacy Enforcement in the Sultanate.
These adulterants can cause adverse effects that may be potentially harmful to those taking them. The consumption of Aminopyrine and/or Dipyrone, both used as pain killers, bears a high risk of causing serious blood disorders that could lead to a suppressed immune system resulting in serious infections which may prove fatal.
Dizziness, lowering of blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, confusion, depression and convulsions are among the adverse effects that could occur from the unsupervised consumption of Chlorpheiramine.
Long-term unsupervised consumption of Dexamethasone may lead to serious adverse effects such as muscle weakness, bone fracture, insomnia, eye disease (glaucoma), swelling of the lower leg and increased risk and severity of infection.
Some of the side-effects of taking Sildenafil include nausea, vomiting, flushing, dizziness and in severe cases, visual impairment, abnormal increase in heart rate, sudden loss of hearing and seizures.
Sibutramine is a slimming agent and is no longer recommended for medical use in obesity due to its adverse effects on the heart and liver. Consumption of Sibutramine can cause severe adverse reactions such as high blood pressure, heart palpitation and insomnia and in severe cases renal and hepatic impairment.
The Ministry of Health has not issued any approval for the importation and sale of the mentioned products. Following these findings, importation and sale of such medicines will not be allowed in the country.
Members of the public involved in the retailing of the products are hereby reminded that it is an offence under the Poisons Act 1956 to sell any product containing substances controlled under the said Act. The penalty for such an offence upon conviction is a fine of $8,000 or six (6) months imprisonment. Furthermore, if a person commits an act that amounts to such a degree of negligence so as to endanger or be likely to endanger human life, then such individuals shall be guilty of an offence which carries a penalty of $16,000 fine and twelve (12) months imprisonment.
Consumers have been advised to stop taking the affected medicines immediately. If they should experience any adverse reactions or feel unwell, they should consult their doctors.
The ministry calls on the public to report if any of these products are still found in the local market to the Pharmacy Enforcement Section at 2230036 or unit 2G8:04, Level 8 Ong Sum Ping Condominium.
The ministry has continuously advised the public on the importance of being more cautious in taking traditional medicines and sharing the responsibility of protecting the safety and health of the community.