The Heallth Sciences Authority (HSA) has advised the public to stop consuming a weight loss product called Nutriline Bluvelle, which has been found to contain a banned substance known as sibutramine.
While Nutriline Bluvelle is marketed as a health supplement for slimming, with claims that it contains natural plant ingredients that are “safe and free of side effects”, a female in her 20s had experienced “rapid heartbeats, anxiety, a drastic decrease in appetite, dizziness and lethargy” after consuming it, said the HSA in a press release on Wednesday (June 14).
“Such symptoms are common adverse reactions associated with the use of the banned substance, sibutramine,” it added.
This lady had bought the product from an online shop based in Malaysia, but the HSA had found it sold on several other local and overseas online platforms.
The authority is currently investigating the local sale of this product. It has also advised merchants to stop selling the product immediately.
Sibutramine was previously available here as a prescription-only weight loss drug but has been withdrawn from Singapore since 2010, due to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Other serious adverse effects associated with the use of this substance include high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, hallucinations and mood swings.
The HSA added that it had received reports of consumers experiencing “hallucinations or hearing voices, palpitations and breathlessness” after consuming slimming products bought online, that upon testing were found to contain the banned substance sibutramine, even though they were marketed to “contain natural ingredients”.
The amount of sibutramine found in some of these products might result in a consumer unwittingly consuming up to eight times the maximum daily dosage of the prescribed amount, posing a “very serious health hazard” to consumers.
Anyone who supplies illegal health products may be prosecuted and jailed up to three years and/or fined up to S$100,000 if convicted.