Red flag raised on four products

|     Danial Norjidi     |

 

THE Ministry of Health (MoH) has alerted members of the public to a health product and three types of cosmetic products that have been tested by the Laboratory of Pharmacy Section, Scientific Laboratory Services, MoH and found to be adulterated with undeclared, potent western medicine.

In a press statement, the ministry shared that the affected health product, Semenax Capsule – manufactured by Leading Edge Health – was found to be adulterated with Sildenafil.

Meanwhile, the three affected cosmetic products are Tati 5 in 1 Skincare New & Improved Glow of Lasting Beauty – Ultra Night Cream, manufactured by Made in Malaysia and found to be adulterated with Mercury; Tati 5 in 1 Skincare New & Improved Glow of Lasting Beauty – Ultra Treatment Cream, manufactured by Made in Malaysia and found to be adulterated with Hydroquinone and Tretinoin; and GP Cream Ngiht Cream, with an unknown manufacturer, found to be adulterated with Hydroquinone and Tretinoin.

The adulterants found in these products can cause adverse effects that are potentially hazardous to people using them.

Sildenafil is a drug used to treat male impotency and can only be prescribed by a qualified doctor or physician. Among their side effects include nausea, vomiting, flushing and dizziness. In severe cases, they can also result in abnormal increase in heart rate, sudden loss of hearing and seizures.

Mercury is a potent ingredient that is prohibited in cosmetic products as stipulated in the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations 2007.

Mercury is prohibited in cosmetic products due to its hazardous effects on human health. It is readily absorbed through the skin on topical application and tends to accumulate in the body.

Exposure to mercury can cause skin rashes, memory loss and muscle weakness while high exposures may result in damage to the brain and kidneys. It is also extremely toxic to unborn children.

Hydroquinone is used in western prescription medicines to treat skin conditions and is prohibited in skincare cosmetic products under the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations. Unsupervised use of Hydroquinone may cause skin hypersensitivity, skin discolouration resulting in gradual darkening of the affected skin area and an increased risk of skin cancer.

Tretinoin is used in western prescription medicines to treat skin conditions and is prohibited in skincare cosmetic products under the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations. Inappropriate use of tretinoin could lead to redness, peeling and scarring of the skin.

The MoH 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 rest of affected products, the statement said. Following these findings, the products are not allowed to be imported and sold in Brunei, it added.

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.