Dubai:The UAE Ministry of Health (MOH) has warned against the online purchase and use of spurious medicinal products used for weight loss and as body building supplements and sexual enhancements.
These products could cause complications and serious injuries, said the Ministry.
Consumers are asked to exercise caution before purchasing any product, frequently promoted as ‘all natural’, in the categories of sexual enhancement, weight loss and body building.
In the last week of June, the US-based Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent out public notifications mentioning several products that may cause negative side effects due to undeclared/ hidden ingredients.
The FDA said these ingredients could interact, in life-threatening ways, with other medications a consumer may be taking.
The FDA also said that consumers may unknowingly take products laced with varying quantities of approved prescription drug ingredients, controlled substances, and untested and unstudied pharmaceutically active ingredients which can cause harm.
In response, the Ministry issued a public interest circular mentioning names of products including Silver Sword, Meizi Evolution, MVP Mega, MaxTreme Zen, Exten 1300, and Strawberry Balance.
According to the circular, these products are mostly sold online.
The Ministry has urged residents not to buy or use these products. Those who have experienced any negative side effects should consult a healthcare professional.
Speaking to Gulf News, Dr Ameen Hussain Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Medical Practices and Licensing at the MOH, said that the Ministry urges residents to be wary of products that are not registered in the UAE.
“Unregistered medicinal products are unsafe. Many of these unregistered products are promoted through unregistered medical advertisements via social media, phone networks and/or the internet,” he said.
He explained that such products could lead to a medical emergency due to the presence of hidden ingredients that could be potentially dangerous.
The sale of unlicensed or unregistered medical products in the UAE is a violation of Federal Law number 4 of 1983 under profession of pharmacy and pharmaceutical institutions.
The Ministry calls upon residents to report such products by calling 800 111 11.
The FDA stated Silver Sword, used for sexual enhancement, is being promoted and sold on various websites. An undeclared ingredient in the product may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs – often taken for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease – and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels.
Another sexual enhancement product MVP Mega could pose the same risk.
The body said Meizi Evolution is being sold for weight loss. The product poses a threat to consumers because one of its ingredients is known to substantially increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some patients, especially those with a history of heart disease.