The Ministry of Health (MoH) has alerted the public to two health products found to be adulterated with undeclared, potent Western medicine after testing by the Laboratory of Pharmacy Section, Department of Scientific Services.
SE Saraf Emas Rawat & Pulih Saraf 100% Herbal Asli Zat 1001 Penawar was found to be adulterated with dexamethasone and betamethasone.
Extrak Kapsul Daun Sirih Cina Untuk Pria dan Wanita Asam Urat Nyeri Tulang Kolesterol Jerawat Penyakit Kulit, manufactured by PJ Perdana Jaya in Bogor, Indonesia, was found to be adulterated with diclofenac, chlorpheniramine, acetaminophen, dexamethasone and betamethasone.
These adulterants can cause adverse effects that are potentially hazardous to the people using them.
Dizziness, lowered 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 and betamethasone can increase blood glucose levels leading to diabetes, 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.
Diclofenac is a pain-relief medicine that, without supervision, may result in peptic ulceration, gastrointestinal bleeding, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, blurred vision, oedema, jaundice and kidney failure.
Acetaminophen or paracetamol can be used for pain relief and to reduce fever. Excessive acetaminophen or paracetamol use may lead to liver damage, kidney failure, coma and can result in death.
MoH has not issued any approval for the importation for the sale of these products.
Following these findings, the products are not allowed to be imported and sold in Brunei Darussalam.
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 the products (including online such as through Facebook) are reminded that it is an offence under the Poisons Act 1956 to sell products containing any substance controlled under said the Act, and the penalty for such an offence upon conviction, is a fine of BND8,000 or six 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 person shall be guilty of an offence which carries a penalty of a fine of BND16,000 and 12 months’ imprisonment.