May 22, 2024


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Consumers warned against taking 3 health products containing ‘potent’ ingredients, banned substance: HSA

SINGAPORE: Consumers have been warned against taking three health products found to have “potent medicinal ingredients” and a banned substance, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said in a press release on Monday (Mar 9).

The products include shen qi dan bai nian cao yao and Ricalinu, advertised to treat pain and pain ailments (such as rheumatism and gout), and Freaky Fitz that had “exaggerated claims” of helping consumers slim down “within days”, HSA said.


According to the authority, a woman in her 70s who consumed shen qi dan bai nian cao yao experienced chest discomfort. She got the product from a friend who sourced it from Malaysia.

The product claimed to only contain herbal ingredients like cordyceps and ginseng, but HSA detected “multiple medicinal ingredients”, including an antihistamine, a steroid, a painkiller and a medicine used to remove excess water from the body.

chinese meds tabs

A woman in her 70s experienced chest discomfort after taking shen qi dan bai nian cao yao YAO. (Photo: HSA)

“These potent ingredients can cause serious adverse effects when used without medical supervision,” HSA said.

Ricalinu, believed to help with pain ailments like gout, also contained a steroid and multiple “potent painkillers”.

A man in his 40s, who had attempted to bring in 20 boxes of Ricalinu from Indonesia was stopped at the Singapore Cruise Centre by checkpoint officers.

ricalinu tabs

Ricalinu tablets contain multiple “potent painkillers”. (Photo: HSA)


HSA also cautioned consumers against a supposed slimming product named Freaky Fitz containing a banned substance. The item is being sold on local e-commerce platforms such as Shopee, Carousell, Lazada and Qoo10.

Freaky Fitz is promoted as a safe slimming drink with natural ingredients that claims to offer “fast slimming results” and fat burn without dieting or exercising.

HSA found the product to contain sibutramine, a prescription medicine that has been banned in Singapore since 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

The product also advertised itself as “safe to consume”, while carrying a false quality certification mark.

“This may mislead consumers into believing that the product is safe and manufactured under high quality standards,” HSA said.

The authority is working with the multiple e-commerce platforms carrying the products to take down the affected listings.

It also cautioned people who have consumed shen qi dan bai nian cao yao and Ricalinu to see a doctor as soon as possible because of the “potent steroids” in them that might cause withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, confusion and low blood pressure if stopped without proper medical supervision.

HSA advised consumers to stop taking Freaky Fitz immediately as well, and warned them against products that advertise quick and miraculous results.

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