Dubai, UAE: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoH) has issued five circulars warning the public against using several dietary supplements, a senior official.
Dr Hussain Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary at the ministry, who is also Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Pharmaceutical Vigilance, said these drugs contain unannounced medicinal substances which cause harmful side effects. “The said products are not registered with the MoH,” he reiterated.
Dr Amiri urged the public not to be drawn by herbal products and dietary supplements that claim to reduce weight or enhance sexual power by unscientific ways.
“The warning is meant to protect the people from trade fraud for the safety of their health,” he said, noting some of these fake products are promoted through social media. Dr Amiri warned the promoters of unauthorised drugs of strict legal actions.
He called on the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Federal Customs Authority and the Food and Health Department of Dubai Municipality to ensure that the said drugs are not being sold or imported in the UAE market.
Despite the ministry’s circulars and warnings, a segment of the society continue consuming unauthorised drugs, dietary supplements and aphrodisiacs, he said, alerting the public not to use such products. He also advised the public to check the names of these drugs with the concerned departments to realise their risks.
The ministry has received a warning from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) not to use Extra Slim Plus Acai Berry Weight Loss Formula, which is being promoted as a natural drug for reducing weight, as test results showed that it contains sibutramine. It is known to substantially increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some patients and may present a significant risk for patients with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias or stroke.
It also warned against using Dream Body + Acai Weight Loss & Cleanse, which is also promoted as a natural drug for reducing weight, as lab tests revealed that the drug contains three controlled substances: Sibutramine, fluoxetine and sildenafil.
Fluoxetine is an FDA-approved drug used for treating depression, bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), but can be associated with serious side effects including suicidal thinking, abnormal bleeding and seizures.
Sildenafil is the active ingredient in Viagra, but may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels.
Dream Body Original Formula is another harmful product, which contains two controlled drugs that cause high blood pressure and increase in heartbeats and can be life-threatening for heart disease patients.
The Food and Drug Administration also issued warnings against the use of My Steel Woody (a product promoted and sold for sexual enhancement), Dream Body 450mg and Dream Body Extreme (promoted as natural drugs for reducing weight).
Dr Amiri said the ministry is keeping touch with the FDA and other international health organisations on a daily basis and alert the local health authorities in case of new warnings on use of harmful pharmaceuticals.
© Khaleej TimesJul 2016