Public warned vs unregistered slimming capsules

By Sheila Crisostomo, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 20 2014 03:30 AM | Updated as of Feb 20 2014 11:30 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday warned the public against taking unregistered slimming capsules that contain amphetamine and sibutramine that are both harmful substances.

In FDA Advisory 2014-011, FDA acting director general Kenneth Hartigan-Go said that Fat Burner HCA 500 mg capsules could be bought in the market and through online stores.

Go noted that the product is manufactured by America Bysilver Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. but it is not registered with the FDA to be sold in the country.

FDA inspectors, however, have recovered capsules packaged in a box of foil strips at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in South Harbor, Manila.

Go cautioned that the product contained amphetamine that could cause irregular heartbeat, confusion, urine retention and painful urination, hyperthermia, hyperreflexia, muscle pain, severe agitation, rapid breathing and tremor.

“Large overdose may produce symptoms such as psychosis, anuria, cardiogenic shock cerebral hemorrhage, circulatory collapse, extreme fever, pulmonary hypertension, renal failure, rapid muscle breakdown, serotonin syndrome and stereotypy,” he added.

Fatal amphetamine poisoning usually involves convulsion and coma.

The product was also found to have sibutramine, which has been shown to increase the risk of serious heart events, including non-fatal heart attack or non-fatal stroke and deaths.

Last Jan. 8, the FDA had also found 26 other slimming products containing these two substances and steroids.

“All consumers are advised to use only FDA-approved slimming pills or anti-obesity drugs under the supervision of doctors,” Go maintained.

The FDA has appealed to the BOC to be more vigilant in monitoring the entry of unregistered or illegal health products.