The Ministry of Health alerted members of the public that two types of health products and two types of cosmetic products, which have been tested by the Laboratory of Pharmacy Section, Department of Scientific Services, Ministry of Health, are found to be adulterated with undeclared, potent western medicine.
The affected health products are Ubat Resdung Mujarab Kapsul, adulterated with Chlorpheniramine, Dexamethasone and Betamethasone; and Mujarab Resdong Plus Kapsul, manufactured by MRP Marketing, Sabah Malaysia, adulterated with Chlorpheniramine, Dexamethasone, Betamethasone and Prednisolone.
The affected cosmetic products are White Horse Gluta by JL Fara 1 Tumeric Night Cream and White Horse Gluta by JL Fara 2 Seaweed Night Cream. Both products are adulterated with Mercury.
The adulterant found in these products can cause adverse effects that are potentially hazardous.
Dizziness, lowering of blood pressure, irregular hearbeat, confusion, depression and convulsions are among the adverse effects that could occur from the unsupervised consumption of Chlorpheniramine. Unsupervised long-term consumption of potent corticosteroids such as Dexamethasone, Betamethasone and Prednisolone can increase blood glucose levels leading to diabetes, result in high blood pressure, cataracts, muscular and bone disorders, and an increased risk of infections. Long term use of corticosteroids can also lead to Cushing’s syndrome which is characterised by a round face or ‘moon face’, and upper body obesity with thin limbs.
Consumers who have taken high doses of steroids over a prolonged period of time may suffer from withdrawal symptoms which include fatigue, muscle and joint pain, fever, low blood sugar, low blood pressure and dehydration.
The Ministry of Health has not issued any approval for the importation for the sale of these products and/or Cosmetic Notification Acknowledgement Letter for the sale of the affected products. Members of the public who have purchased or used these products are advised to stop using them immediately. They should also consult a medical practitioner if they feel unwell or experience any undesirable reactions as a result of using them.
Members of the public involved in the retail of these products (including online retail) are reminded that it is an offence under the Poisons Act 1956 to sell any product containing any substance controlled under the act.
The penalty for such an offence upon conviction, is a fine of BND8,000 or six months’ imprisonment. 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 person shall be guilty of an offence which carries a fine of BND16,000 and 12 months’ imprisonment.
The public is also reminded that it is an offence under the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations, 2007 to import and market cosmetic products in the local market without a Cosmetic Product Notification Acknowledgement Letter issued by the authority, where the penalty for contravening these regulations upon conviction, is a fine not exceeding BND5,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.
For more information, the public can contact the Compliance and Licensing Section at 2393298 extension 208; email [email protected]; visit the Department of Pharmaceutical Services’ Building, Kampong Madaras, Mukim Gadong A; or call the Talian Darussalam hotline 123.