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Ministry warns against use of two dietary supplements

Dubai: The Ministry of Health and Prevention issued on Saturday five circulars warning against the use of some dietary supplements that may lead to hypertension or hypotension.

The dietary supplements include ‘ShedFat Maxx capsule’, a herbal tonic and male enhancement product manufactured by ShedFat LLC, USA, and ‘Bella Diet capsules’, a herbal remedy for weight loss manufactured by Bella All Natural.

Dr Ameen Hussain Al Amiri, assistant undersecretary for Public Health Policy and Licensing at the ministry and vice-chairman of the Higher Committee for Drug Pricing and Registration, said the ministry is continuously monitoring all pharmaceutical products and dietary supplements.

“The ministry will continue warning the community against using fake products, and follow the instructions provided to protect the community health”.

He highlighted the efforts of the ministry’s specialised teams working with international organisations, pharmaceutical companies and factories to ensure access to safe medicine, as part of the ministry’s strategy aiming to provide regulatory services for the health sector and building quality, health and pharmaceutical safety systems according to international standards.

Medicines in question

Following a drug analysis, it turned out that ShedFat Maxx capsule contains an undeclared chemical substance, which may cause a severe reduction in blood pressure to a serious level, and can pose a significant risk for patients with heart disease, diabetes or high body-fat ratio, Al Amiri said.

The second also contains an undisclosed substance, “sibutramine”, which may lead to high blood pressure and/or heart rate in some patients and can be a major risk to patients with heart disease, arrhythmia or stroke.

The five circulars also included recalling ‘Labetalol Hydrochloride Injection, USP, 100 mg/20ml Vial’ manufactured by Hospira Inc, which is not registered with the ministry. This medicine has been reportedly used for treating hypertension; however, due to the existence of some cracks on the surface of the injection packages’ edges, which may result in the product being not sterilised, the manufacturing company decided to voluntarily withdraw its product, Al Amiri said.

The ministry advised the public to avoid using the medicinal product ‘Clarithromycin’ following a warning issued by the US Food and Drug Administration. The product is apparently used as an antibiotic but it might increase risks of health problems for some patients especially those suffering from heart diseases.

The UAE health authorities urged practitioners to take into account the benefits and risks of Clarithromycin prior to prescribing it to any patient, especially for those with heart diseases even for short periods, as well as to consider the use of other available antibiotics.

The heath authorities also decided to amend the dispensation of ‘Atomoxetine’, which is used to treat children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), becoming among the semi- controlled medication.

The move has come based on the recommendations of the Drugs Pricing and Registration Higher Committee at its meeting No. 129/2018 on the consumption, distribution and dispensation of narcotic and psychotropic drugs, according to the laws and decisions in place to raise the level of public health and consumer protection.

Accordingly, UAE residents are urged to contact the Ministry of Health and Prevention in the event of any side effects caused by using the above products or fill out the ADR side effects form available at http://www.cpd-pharma.ae or contact the following addresses: Telephone: 02-3201448 or Fax: 02-3201947, or email pv@moh.gov.ae or toll-free number 80011111.

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