Dubai: Dubai Municipality has warned residents against using dozens of products used for slimming and sexual enhancement that contain banned ingredients that can cause serious side effects.
The latest list of banned products published on the civic body’s website, www.dm.gov.ae, includes 14 health supplements used for weight loss and 19 health supplements used for sexual enhancement.
Dr Naseem Mohammad Rafei, head of Consumer Product Safety Section, told Gulf News on Wednesday that inspectors found these products used by residents during a recent crackdown.
“During the campaign, our inspectors detected these products which contain harmful ingredients that are banned due to serious side effects. None of them has been registered with the municipality.”
She said residents were sourcing the banned products through various channels, not from the local market.
“Some of them are being sold online and some are being sold through social media accounts. Some products are imported by individuals, not companies, through Dubai ports. Our inspectors have stopped the entry of these products that came through the ports after their samples failed in the tests.”
The banned products have active ingredients approved for prescription drugs. However, they can cause serious adverse health reactions to people who are not monitoring their health conditions and not using them under medical supervision.
“Many people are not screening [their health conditions] and not doing any tests. They don’t know if they have high blood pressure or low blood pressure. It is dangerous to take these ingredients banned in health supplements as they can cause serious diseases and can even be fatal,” said Dr Rafei.
The slimming health supplements and diet pills contain banned ingredients sibutramine, which can cause increased blood pressure and heart rate, dry mouth, difficulty in sleeping and constipation, and phenolphthalein which is carcinogenic.
The health supplements used for sexual enhancement have active ingredients such as sildenafil, sulfoaildenafil, dimethylsildenafil, tadalnafil, hydroxyacetildenafil, vardenafil and N-desmethyl tadalafil.
These are approved in prescription drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction. However, such hidden and undeclared ingredients in health supplements may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels and impair the cardiac function. These can also cause other serious side effects like vision defects and shortness of breath, the municipality’s circular stated.
Dr Rafei urged residents to refrain from using such harmful products. She also asked the consumers to use only registered and approved products.
“There are various ways in which people can check whether a consumer product or health supplement is registered with the municipality or not. We now have an awareness campaign to promote this message among the residents.”
App to check products
Residents can call up the municipality’s hotline number 800900 to verify the registration status of consumer health products. The civic body recently announced the launch of a new smart service called ‘Montaji’ for registration of consumer products.
“Consumers can soon log on to Montaji on the municipality’s website. We will also be launching the mobile app in the same name within two weeks. Once you enter the details of the product in question, you will know if it is approved by the authorities or not.”
As reported first by Gulf News, Montaji is also aimed to counter fake products and will also help consumers make the selection of products by comparing their health profile with the product details in the later phases of Montaji.
On Thursday afternoon, Dubai Municipality clarified that Refwa Royal Power had been mistakenly listed among the original list of banned products. It has since been removed from the banned list.
Banned slimming products
Idol Slim Coffee
Super Slimming Herb
AB Slim- Cellulose Capsule
Slimming Body Capsule Plus
Miaomiao Slimming Capsule
Natural Chinese Medicine Magic Slim
Super Fat Burning
Quick Slimming Capsule Plus
Health Slimming Capsules
Natural Max Slimming
Health Aid-Hoodia Gordonii-Kalahari Desert Capsules
Burning Fat Slimming Capsule Diet
Banned sexual enhancement products
Power Male Sexual Stimulant
King of Romance
CONTROL All Natural Sexual Enhancement
Boss Number #Six
Mamba is Hero
Neophase Natural Sex Enhance
Wonder-Erect Male Gum
Black 3K Plus
Rhino 7K 9000
Rhino 8 Platinum 8000