In recent news, Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has issued a warning to the public about three banned products that could cause many negative impacts on one’s health.

These products were found to contain “potent medicinal ingredients” and are prohibited in Singapore for good reason! Some of the substances found include steroids, sibutramine, and erectile dysfunction medicine tadalafil.

In a media release, HSA shared more detailed information about each of the banned products and the bad effects they had on some consumers.

MOFA Coffee (Fast Slimming Coffee)

HSA banned products MOFA Coffee

Credit: Shopee

One of the products, MOFA Coffee, has a prescription-only weight loss medicine that is banned due to increased risks of heart attack and stroke.

Other severe health consequences were heart problems and central nervous system disorders like psychosis and hallucinations.

The discovery started at the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) where anomalies in the scanned images of two parcels from Malaysia were noticed. Checks were conducted by the officers at Changi Airfreight Centre before referring the parcels to HSA for further investigation.

HSA banned products MOFA Coffee

Credit: Health Sciences Authority

MOFA Coffee was labelled to help in appetite suppression while containing natural ingredients like coffee extract, white kidney bean extract, and garcinia cambogia (a tropical fruit widely used as a natural fat burner).

HSA discovered that the product contained high levels of sibutramine, a substance which has been banned in Singapore since 2010.

Back in 2019, one consumer experienced extremely fast heart rates and became unconscious after taking a product adulterated with sibutramine. According to HSA, she was resuscitated and suffered debilitating consequences after, requiring the implantation of a defibrillator to help her heart to function.

LorenXo Delicious Pure Chocolate Supplement

HSA banned products lorenxo delicious pure chocolate supplement

Credit: Borneo Bulletin

This LorenXo product was marketed online as a dietary supplement with the false claim that it only contained natural ingredients.

HSA shared that a man in his 30s experienced severe headaches after consuming the LorenXo Delicious Pure Chocolate Supplement which he bought from a local e-commerce platform.

His doctor diagnosed the headaches to be a side effect associated with a potent medicinal ingredient in the supplement.

HSA banned product weight loss supplement

Credit: Health Sciences Authority

After subsequent tests by HSA, the ingredient was realised to be tadalafil, a prescription medicine used to treat erectile dysfunction that should only be given under medical supervision.

Using drugs such as tadalafil without proper medical supervision is extremely dangerous. It can increase the risk of serious adverse effects like strokes, heart attacks, headaches, migraines, irregular heart rate, and priapism (painful and exceedingly long erections).

DND Rx9 (Gout care pills)

HSA banned products Dr. Noordin Darus Formula

Credit: Health Sciences Authority

A formula by Dr Noordin Darus, an internet personality and medical doctor in wellness medicine in Malaysia, the DND Rx9 pills were tested and revealed potent steroids dexamethasone and prednisolone, and a painkiller called diclofenac.

The long-term use of such steroids unsupervised can cause increased blood sugar levels that may lead to diabetes and other serious adverse effects. And the unsupervised use of diclofenac can damage the stomach and cause bleeding.

A man in his 30s took the DND Rx9 pills for several months and developed Cushing’s syndrome, which is a serious medical condition caused by the prolonged use of steroids.

Some symptoms of this disease include a rounded or ‘moon face’ appearance, a hump on the back of the neck, skin changes like acne, easy bruising, and excessive facial hair, purple stretch marks that usually appear on the chest, armpits and belly, and rapid or unusual weight gain, particularly around the belly.

Advisory to all consumers and sellers

Products are to be removed immediately

MOFA Coffee and LorenXo Delicious Pure Chocolate Supplement were sold on local online e-commerce and social media platforms like Qoo10, Shopee, Carousell, and Facebook. While MOFA Coffee and DND Rx9 were purchased or sourced from Malaysia.

HSA has worked with platform administrators to remove affected listings and alerted its Malaysian counterpart on the issue.

All sellers and suppliers are required to stop selling these products at once. There will be no hesitation in taking “stern enforcement actions” against those who disobey, warned HSA.

Offenders can be fined up to S$10,000, jailed for up to two years, or both.

To stop consuming the banned products

If you are taking or has taken the DND Rx9 pills, it’s crucial to see a doctor as soon as possible.

“Sudden stopping of the product without medical supervision may result in worsening of underlying medical conditions or other serious withdrawal conditions such as adrenal insufficiency,” said HSA.

Consumers are also advised to stop taking the MOFA Coffee and LorenXo Delicious Pure Chocolate Supplement immediately and to consult a doctor if they feel unwell or are concerned about their health.

Exercise extra caution when shopping for such products

When buying products from unknown or unfamiliar sources online, it’s best to be careful!

We can’t be sure of where and how these products were made or whether they’ve been adulterated with harmful ingredients. These adulterated products are usually manufactured under poor conditions without quality control, and various batches of the same product may have variable amounts of ingredients or adulterants.

Always buy from reputable pharmacies or retailers’ websites or those with an established retail presence in Singapore.

Check the labels

It’s good to always do extra research for your own health and safety. Products that claim to be “herbal” or “natural” can instead contain potent ingredients that are harmful to your health.

If you need certain products to manage chronic medical conditions, always consult your doctor or pharmacist beforehand.

Feature image credit: Borneo Bulletin, Shopee