Mums and dads, please be careful when buying weight loss products in Singapore. The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is alerting members of the public not to purchase or consume three weight loss products which have caused serious adverse reactions in consumers.
One woman lost consciousness and required resuscitation, and now suffers from severe heart failure.
HSA issues alert on some weight loss products in Singapore
HSA has issued an alert on 3 weight loss products after people reported adverse reactions after consuming them. Undeclared potent ingredients were found in these products.
The products in question are:
- BB Body
- Bello Smaze
- Choco Fit
According to HSA, a woman in her 50s had purchased ‘BB Body’ from an online seller based in Malaysia after coming across an Instagram post of the product.
After consuming it for about 3 months, she developed extremely fast heart rate, which led to a loss of consciousness, requiring resuscitation to save her life.
As a result, she now suffers from severe heart failure, and is implanted with a defibrillator (device to regulate heart rhythm). She also requires long term heart failure medications.
In another shocking case, a woman in her 20s developed palpitations and insomnia, and subsequently had suicidal thoughts, after taking ‘Bello Smaze’ for four days. She had purchased the product directly from a local seller to lose weight.
It seems that, her friend who recommended the product also experienced palpitations and insomnia.
Again, another woman in her 30s experienced palpitations after consuming the product ‘Choco Fit’ for 2 days.
The above three products contain an undeclared ingredient called sibutramine. Sibutramine was previously a prescription drug but was banned by HSA in 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, as well as other serious adverse effects.
Please note that, BB Body’, ‘Bello Smaze’ and ‘Choco Fit’ were marketed on various e-commerce and social media platforms including Instagram and Facebook. They were marketed as having “no side effects” or being able to deliver fast weight loss within days.
HSA has directed the local online platforms to remove these product listings.
What to note when buying weight loss products in Singapore
Associate Professor Chan Cheng Leng, Group Director of Health Products Regulation Group, HSA, has this advice, “Do not fall for claims or promises of quick weight loss when purchasing health products, whether they are sold online or in retail shops.”
“Based on HSA’s enforcement operations, many of the weight loss products sold on e-commerce platforms without an established retail presence were found to contain the banned substance, sibutramine.”
“Sibutramine can cause serious adverse effects such as mood disturbances, hallucinations, heart attacks and strokes.”
Consumers have been advised by HSA to:
- Stop taking ‘Bello Smaze’, ‘BB Body’ or ‘Choco Fit’ immediately and consult a doctor if you feel unwell or are concerned about your health.
- Be wary of health products that promise or deliver quick and miraculous effects, or carry exaggerated claims.
- Avoid purchasing health products from unfamiliar sources overseas, and exercise caution when buying such products online. You cannot be certain where and how these products were made. They could potentially be counterfeits or contain undeclared ingredients which can seriously harm your health.
All sellers and suppliers have been asked to stop selling these products immediately:
- These are illegal products which contain potent medicinal ingredients.
- Anyone who supplies illegal health products is liable to prosecution and if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to 3 years and/or fined up to $100,000.
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]