New Users Registration  |  Useful Links  |  FAQ  |  Site Map 
 
Go Search

 

Skip Navigation LinksHealth Xchange > News
  News  
  Categories  
     
  Chronology  
 
  2013 2015   Dec 2015 | Nov 2015 | Oct 2015 | Sep 2015 | Aug 2015 | Jul 2015 | Jun 2015 | May 2015 | Apr 2015 | Mar 2015 | Feb 2015 | Jan 2015 |
  2013 2014   Dec 2014 | Nov 2014 | Oct 2014 | Sep 2014 | Aug 2014 | Jul 2014 | Jun 2014 | May 2014 | Apr 2014 | Mar 2014 | Feb 2014 | Jan 2014 |
  2013   Dec 2013 | Nov 2013 | Oct 2013 | Sep 2013 | Aug 2013 | Jul 2013 | Jun 2013 | May 2013 | Apr 2013 | Mar 2013 | Feb 2013 | Jan 2013 |
  2012   Dec 2012 | Nov 2012 | Oct 2012 | Sep 2012 | Aug 2012 | Jul 2012Jun 2012May 2012Apr 2012Mar 2012 | Feb 2012 | Jan 2012 |
  2011   Dec 2011Nov 2011Oct 2011 | Sep 2011 | Aug 2011Jul 2011Jun 2011 | May 2011 | Apr 2011 | Mar 2011 | Feb 2011 | Jan 2011 |
  2010   Dec 2010 | Nov 2010 | Oct 2010 | Sep 2010 | Aug 2010 | Jul 2010 | Jun 2010 | May 2010 | Apr 2010 | Mar 2010 | Feb 2010 | Jan 2010 |
  2009   Dec 2009 | Nov 2009 | Oct 2009 | Sep 2009 | Aug 2009 |
 
     
  Topic  
 
  Health Policy and Announcements | Diseases and Outbreaks
  Medical Research | New Treatments and Technology
   
 
     
  RSS  
 
  Singapore   SingHealth | Health Promotion Board | Ministry of Health | Asiaone
  International   World Health Organization | Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (US)
       
 
     
  News Article  
 

Woman who took herbal pills dies waiting for liver

 
  Tuesday, 21 l 12 l 2010 Source: The Straits Times   
By: Judith Tan
     
 

MADAM K. H. Leong died in hospital on Sunday, waiting for a new liver that never came. She suffered acute liver failure earlier this month after taking illegal herbal pain-relieving pills for at least eight months, till July this year. In August, while on a routine check-up, doctors discovered that the 51-year-old public relations executive had kidney problems. And later, they said she had acute liver failure and needed a new liver. 

The Malaysia-made pills contained a steroid and an antihistamine, both illegal in herbal medicine here. They were discovered when the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) tested the pills. Called Huo Luo Jing Dan, the round, black pills, about 5mm in diameter, came in plastic bags with Chinese words making the claim that they were “homemade from secret ingredients of herbs”. Madam Leong had suffered acute pain in both her wrists and underwent a carpal tunnel surgical procedure in August last year. But that failed to relieve the pain. A friend, who had also taken the pills, introduced them to her in November the same year. 

When Madam Leong was fighting for her life, several relatives and at least one colleague came forward to donate a part of their liver, but none was found suitable. She was put on a waiting list for a liver from a dead person. There have been two cases of liver failure purported to have been caused by a herbal slimming pill called Slim 10 in 2002. But it is not easy to establish a direct link between “herbal” pills and such incidents. In the 2002 incident, in which one woman died, the HSA said it was harder to test herbal products for toxic elements, given the “limited technology for testing of the constituents of herbal ingredients”.  

It said there was “no conclusive evidence” that the traditional Chinese medicine was responsible. The HSA regulates the safety and quality of Chinese Proprietary Medicines available here. Under the law, importers or local manufacturers of such medicines need to ensure their products do not contain synthetic Western drugs and prohibited ingredients. Heavy toxic metals and microbial contents must not exceed safety limits before they can be sold. HSA has also informed its Malaysian counterpart of the possible danger the pills pose.  

Related article:  Liver failure: Pills had illegal substances

     
 Ask the Specialists (1st - 30th Nov)
     
Gastric Pain, what can I do?
Your Gastric Pain could be a signal of a more serious condition that needs attention; or that you need a change in lifestyle. Ask our Specialist now!
     
  Your eye and contact lenses
Concerned with the side effects of wearing contact lens? Need a guide on how to take care of your eyes and lenses? Ask our Specialist now!
     
 
 Ask the Specialists - Answered Topics
             
  Aesthetic Eye   Asthma  
  Breast Cancer   Cancer and Nutrition  
  Child's Eye Conditions   Depression  
  Breast Cancer   Eczema  
  Elderly Eye Conditions   Health At Work  
  Heart Disease   LASIK  
  Low Back Pain   Maternal Depression  
  Money and Healthcare   Managing Pain  
  Pre-pregnancy   Prostate Problem  
  Risk of Heart Disease   Sleep  
  Sports Injuries   Thyroid Problems  
  Weight Management        
             
 
 Catch up with Health Xchange
 
  facebook   newsletter  
 
  twitter