Health Canada warns of foreign products found containing undeclared drug ingredients

Oct 18 2019, 8:10 am

A list of foreign health products have been found by regulators in the United States, SingaporeAustralia, and Hong Kong to contain undeclared drug ingredients, which may pose serious health risks to users.

The products listed below are not authorized for sale in Canada and, thus far, have not been found in the Canadian marketplace.

However, it is possible that they may have been brought into the country by travellers or purchased over the Internet and therefore, you should be wary of the following names:

CFIA

No adverse reactions suspected to be associated with the use of these products had been reported to Health Canada as of August 6, 2019. Still, prescription drugs should only be used under the supervision of a health care professional.

The following ingredients are noted by Health Canada to be of concern:

Benproperine is an ingredient used as a cough suppressant. Benproperine is not approved for use in Canada. Side effects associated with benproperine include sleepiness, dry mouth, abdominal pain, and rash.

Bisacodyl is a stimulant laxative used in over-the-counter drugs to treat occasional constipation. Common side effects may include stomach discomfort or cramping, nausea, and diarrhea.

Clenbuterol is a veterinary drug used to treat respiratory diseases in horses. It is not authorized for human use in Canada. Serious side effects include seizure, heart attack, psychosis or damage to skeletal muscle. Other side effects include irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, tremors, nervousness, nausea, increased blood sugar, headache, and dizziness.

Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine used to treat allergies. It is also found in some cough and cold products and sleep aid medications. Side effects associated with diphenhydramine include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, headache, and dry mouth.

Mycophenolic acid is a drug that inhibits the normal response of the immune system. It is used to prevent organ rejection in patients receiving kidney transplants. Common side effects include nasopharyngitis, high or low blood pressure and abnormal blood test results. Use of mycophenolic acid increases the risk of infection, and long-term use may result in an increased risk of lymphoma. Use of mycophenolic acid during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of pregnancy loss and birth defects.

N-desmethyl sibutramine is similar to sibutramine, a drug previously used to treat obesity. Sibutramine is no longer authorized for sale in Canada because of its association with an increased risk of cardiovascular side effects such as heart attack and stroke. Other side effects include increased blood pressure and heart rate, dry mouth, difficulty sleeping and constipation.

Phenolphthalein was previously used as a laxative but is no longer authorized for sale in Canada because it may cause cancer. Additional side effects include decreased blood pressure, skin rash and gastrointestinal bleeding.

Sennosides are the active ingredients in some over-the-counter stimulant laxatives used to treat constipation. Side effects include stomach discomfort or cramping, nausea and diarrhea.  

Sibutramine was previously used to treat obesity but is no longer authorized for sale in Canada because of its association with an increased risk of cardiovascular side effects such as heart attack and stroke. Other side effects include increased blood pressure and heart rate, dry mouth, difficulty sleeping and constipation.

Sildenafil is a prescription drug used to treat erectile dysfunction. Sildenafil should not be used by individuals taking any kind of nitrate drug (e.g., nitroglycerin) as it can cause potentially life-threatening low blood pressure. Individuals with heart problems are at increased risk of cardiovascular side effects such as heart attack, stroke, chest pain, high blood pressure and abnormal heartbeat. Other side effects include headache, facial flushing, indigestion, dizziness, abnormal vision and hearing loss.

Tadalafil is a prescription drug used to treat erectile dysfunction. Tadalafil should not be used by individuals taking any kind of nitrate drug (e.g., nitroglycerine) as it can cause potentially life-threatening low blood pressure. Individuals with heart problems are at increased risk of cardiovascular side effects such as heart attack, stroke, chest pain, high blood pressure and abnormal heartbeat. Other side effects include headache, facial flushing, indigestion, dizziness, abnormal vision and hearing loss.

If you discover any of these products in the country, you can contact Health Canada at 1-800-267-9675 or complete an online complaint form.

You should consult a health care professional if you have health concerns related to the use of any of these products, and you can report a side effect of health products to Health Canada by calling 1-866-234-2345 or visit the Adverse Reaction Reporting web page for information on how to report online, by mail or by fax,

In general, it’s recommended you read product labels before making a purchase to verify that they and their ingredients have been assessed by Health Canada for safety, effectiveness and quality

Health products that have been authorized for sale by Health Canada will have an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN), Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Drug Number (DIN-HM).

Big Penis capsules (CNW Group/Health Canada)

 

De Guo Heijin Gang (CNW Group/Health Canada)

 

Germany Black Gorilla (CNW Group/Health Canada)

 

BeColi (CNW Group/Health Canada)

 

Herb Viagra capsules (CNW Group/Health Canada)

 

Plant Vigra pills (CNW Group/Health Canada)