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Health ministry issues alert on two drugs available on Internet

Health ministry issues alert on two drugs available on Internet

Authority on the risks of using two medicines — a herbal medicine and a sexual stimulant — that could have serious consequences on one’s health.



By (Staff Reporter)

Published: Sat 13 Jun 2015, 12:39 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:10 PM

Dubai — The Ministry of Health has said that since a number of people shopped online for herbal and unregistered drugs, it will continue to announce details about drugs that are harmful and could lead to death.

The warning came after the ministry announced that it received an alert from the Canadian Health Authority on the risks of using two medicines — a herbal medicine and a sexual stimulant — that could have serious consequences on one’s health.

Dr Amin Hussain Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for Public Health and Licences Policies, said that ‘Body Bentonite Unique Healing Powder by Donna Pessin’ was found to contain high levels of metals, which could pose serious health risks.

“This product is not authorised for sale in Canada and has not been found in the Canadian markets but it is possible it may have been brought into the country by travellers or purchased over the Internet,” Dr Amiri said, quoting a warning the ministry had received from the Canadian authority.

Health Canada received a report of a consumer who was hospitalised with life-threatening brain, lung, and kidney injury after using this product, said Dr Amiri, who is also chairman of the higher committee for medicinal vigilance.

The consumer was treated for metal poisoning and has been released from hospital.

According to the report, the consumer had purchased the product for personal use from a US-based website. Body Bentonite Unique Healing Powder by Donna Pessin was tested and found to contain high levels of the metals aluminum, arsenic, lead and uranium. Ingestion of excessive amounts of metals poses serious health risks because they may accumulate in vital organs of the body.

Children are most susceptible to the toxic effects.

Aluminium is a metal. Ingesting high doses of aluminium can cause brain and bone diseases in people with kidney problems.

Arsenic is a heavy metal that can have toxic effects, including skin and lung cancers, heart and lung diseases, and brain damage. 

Lead is a heavy metal that can have toxic effects, including abdominal pain, anemia, changes in blood pressure, reproductive disorders such as miscarriage, weakness, concentration problems, weight loss, insomnia, dizziness, and kidney and brain damage.

Uranium is a radioactive heavy metal. Exposure to uranium can cause cancer and kidney damage.

Dr Amiri said Health Canada is warning consumers that an unauthorised drug, Stiff Rock promoted for male sexual performance enhancement was seized after Health Canada testing confirmed that the product contained drug ingredients: sildenafil; aminotadalafil; and hydroxythiohomosildenafil.

The substances contained in the medicine can cause potentially life-threatening low blood pressure. Individuals with heart problems including high blood pressure, a history of heart attack, stroke, abnormal heart beat or chest pain, are at higher risk of cardiovascular side effects.

Other possible side effects of using sildenafil include headache, facial flushing, indigestion, dizziness, abnormal vision and hearing loss. The unlicensed websites, which promote and sell dietary supplements can create problems and serious consequences on the health of the society, he warned..

He appealed to the public to cooperate with the ministry to stamp out any malpractices that pose threat to the health of the society.

 asmaalizain@khaleejtimes.com 


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