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Monday, July 22, 2024
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2 LANDS IN HOSPITAL AFTER USING PRODUCTS WITH BANNED OR POTENT PRODUCTS

SINGAPORE – The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has issued a warning to the public against purchasing or using three illegal products, “88 Total White Underarm Cream”, “Sausando Cellulite Pills”, and “Pelangsing Double Strong”, after three consumers experienced adverse effects, with two of them being hospitalised.

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HSA’s tests revealed that these products contained banned or potent ingredients, including sibutramine and a high level of mercury. “88 Total White Underarm Cream” was found to contain mercury, betamethasone, and salicylic acid, while “Sausando Cellulite Pills” and “Pelangsing Double Strong” contained sibutramine, frusemide, and phenolphthalein.

Product namePotent or banned ingredientsSource
“88 Total White Underarm Cream”Mercury (toxic heavy metal)
Betamethasone (potent steroid)
Salicylic Acid (anti-acne and exfoliating agent)
Local retail shop at Lucky Plaza, local e-commerce platforms
“Sausando Cellulite Pills”
“消脂丸 ダイエットマル”
Sibutramine (banned medicinal substance)
Phenolphthalein (laxative)
Frusemide (diuretic)
Local e-commerce platforms
“Pelangsing Double Strong”Sibutramine (banned medicinal substance)
N-desmethylsibutramine (a chemical similar to sibutramine)
Diclofenac (painkiller)
Local e-commerce platforms

The products were sold in local retail shops and e-commerce platforms, including Lucky Plaza, Shopee, Lazada, and Carousell. HSA has seized all stocks of “88 Total White Underarm Cream” from the retail shop in Lucky Plaza and is working with platform administrators to remove the affected listings.

The first case involved a woman in her 30s who was hospitalised after using “88 Total White Underarm Cream” for a month. She developed a severe rash affecting most parts of her body, liver impairment, and jaundice. She was diagnosed with allergic contact dermatitis and drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) due to mercury exposure.

Mercury is a toxic heavy metal and is prohibited for use in cosmetic products. It may cause rashes, skin irritation, and blotchiness, and can be absorbed through the skin to cause numbness, dizziness, and headaches. Long-term exposure to high levels of mercury can cause serious health consequences.

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The second case involved a man in his 50s who was hospitalised after taking “Sausando Cellulite Pills” for five months. He experienced seizures, hyponatraemia, and vomiting. Another female consumer experienced thirst, insomnia, and heart palpitations after taking this same product.

Sibutramine, a prescription-only weight loss medicine banned in Singapore since 2010, was found in “Sausando Cellulite Pills” and “Pelangsing Double Strong”. Other serious health consequences reported with its use include heart problems and central nervous system disorders, such as psychosis and hallucinations. Seizures have also been reported with sibutramine.

HSA advises consumers to stop using these products immediately and consult a doctor if they feel unwell or are concerned about their health. Sellers and suppliers are liable to prosecution and may be imprisoned for up to two years and/or fined up to SGD 50,000.

Members of the public who have any information on the sale and supply of these illegal products may contact HSA’s Enforcement Branch at Tel: 6866-3485 during office hours (Monday to Friday) or email: [email protected].

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