The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) urged members of the public on Wednesday (Oct 19) not to purchase or consume two health products sold locally, including a “pain relief supplement” that was found to contain six undeclared potent ingredients.
The two products are Longred Oyster-x and LifeSparks 100% Natural Pain Relief Supplement, both distributed here by Paul Harrison International Pte Ltd and sold directly to consumers from their office in Ubi. The HSA said that a male patient in his 60s took Longred Oyster-x to prevent prostate problems and the LifeSparks supplement for his leg pain and gout. Within a day, he experienced rapid pain relief, but after a week, he developed severe gastric pain and facial swelling. He sought treatment from a general practitioner and has since recovered.
The LifeSparks product — which claimed to be able to relieve gout, arthritis and aching joints — was found to contain chlorpheniramine, dexamethasone, diclofenac, paracetamol, piroxicam and sulphamethoxazole.
Dexamethasone in particular is a potent steroid usually prescribed for inflammatory conditions, and should be used only under strict medical supervision, said the HSA. Long term unsupervised use of an oral steroid can cause increased blood glucose levels leading to diabetes, high blood pressure, cataracts, an increased risk of infections, and Cushing’s syndrome, the HSA added.
Meanwhile, chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine that can be used only under medical supervision by a pharmacist or doctor. Adverse reactions from the use of chlorpheniramine include drowsiness, blurred vision, vomiting, constipation and poor coordination.
Diclofenac and piroxicam, on the other hand, are potent painkillers and may potentially cause gastric bleeding, as well as cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes when used for a prolonged period. They should be used under close medical supervision, especially in patients with underlying heart conditions, noted the HSA.
Sulphamethoxazole is an antibiotic that should be prescribed only by the doctor, said the HSA. It can cause allergic reactions such as serious skin reactions, liver injury, abdominal pain and other gastrointestinal adverse reactions.
Finally, while paracetamol is available over the counter, it can also cause reactions such as rash and swelling of lips or face in some individuals.
The HSA also warned that while the public can immediately stop consumption of Longred Oyster-x, the use of the LifeSparks supplement can be stopped only with proper medical supervision. A sudden discontinuation could cause serious withdrawal symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, confusion and low blood pressure, especially if they have been consumed for more than a few weeks.
Users of the LifeSparks product are advised to consult a doctor as soon as possible.