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Thyroid product pulled off shelves

  Friday, 27 l 05 l 2011  Source: The Straits Times   
By: Amanda Tan

thyroid-medicationHSA finds it has two controlled substances in it

A COMPLEMENTARY health product, said to enhance thyroid health and support weight loss, has been banned here. This comes after the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) found earlier this month that the United States-made Metabolic Advantage contained thyroid gland and thyroid hormones. 

Both are controlled substances under the Poisons Act and should be prescribed only by a doctor. In a press statement yesterday, the HSA warned that the substances can cause side effects such as headaches, anxiety, palpitations and increased blood pressure when consumed without medical supervision. Sold at popular stores like Robinsons, FairPrice, Guardian and Watsons, the supplement costs between $20 and $30 for a bottle of 100 capsules and has been available since last year.

While the HSA has not received any adverse reports on the product, it advises buyers to stop all use. It added that the local distributor, Fu Fong Trading/Protos Trading, has withdrawn all stocks. Said Ms Chan Cheng Leng, division director of the vigilance, compliance and enforcement branch of HSA: “Members of the public who have pre-existing or chronic medical conditions... are advised to consult a health-care professional before consuming complementary health products. “Members of the public are also advised to seek professional advice when in doubt.” The HSA advised consumers to seek medical help if they feel unwell or experience any of the side effects.

The thyroid gland is responsible  for bodily functions such as regulating the metabolic rate, growth and the functioning of other organs. Under the Poisons Act, dealers selling complementary health products containing controlled substances can be fined up to $10,000 and/or be jailed for up to two years.

Consumers who have information on the sale of similar products can e-mail or call HSA’s enforcement branch on 6866-3485 (Monday to Friday).

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