The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) warned the public not to purchase or consume two illegal weight loss products, after these led to two people hospitalised for hallucinations and acute kidney failure. The two products – Nutri Drops Grapefruit Diet and Nutrex Research Adipodex – were tested by HSA to contain potent, undeclared chemical ingredients. For the former, the undeclared chemical ingredients include sibutramine, benzyl sibutramine (a chemically-related compound of sibutramine) and phenolphthalein. Sibutramine, a weight loss drug, has been banned in Singapore since 2010 due to serious safety concerns. As for Nutrex Research Adipodex, which was marketed online as a dietary supplement, was labelled to contain yohimbine – a potent western medicinal ingredient not allowed to be present in supplements sold locally, the press release stated. It can trigger chest pains and high blood pressure.
A teenager experienced hallucinations after consuming Nutri Drops Grapefruit Diet for more than a month to lose weight, and was subsequently hospitalised. The product was labelled to contain all natural ingredients including green tea. Another consumer in his 20s consumed Nutrex Research Adipodex and suffered acute kidney failure leading to hospitalisation.
One must always exercise caution when purchasing their health products, and obtain them from reliable and reputable sources locally. The dangers of online purchasing include the lack of information on the sellers’ location, the source of their products and the conditions under which the products were manufactured and stored. Products sold online could also potentially be counterfeit or adulterated with undeclared potent ingredients.