The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has issued a cautionary alert to Nigerians regarding the use of four products discovered to contain potent medicinal ingredients, steroids, and other banned substances.
This warning was conveyed through a public announcement, signed by the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, in Abuja on Sunday. According to Adeyeye, the agency received information about these products from the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) of Singapore.
Adeyeye emphasized that the identified potent medicinal ingredients present in these products are not authorized and may lead to severe side effects in consumers. She noted that HSA reported adverse effects experienced by four consumers after using three of the products.
Laboratory analysis conducted by HSA confirmed the presence of potent medicinal ingredients, including steroids, in these products. Additionally, the products were found to contain sibutramine (a banned weight loss medication) and tadalafil (a medication for erectile dysfunction).
The specific products implicated, along with their sources, are as follows:
– ‘ENRU PLUS+’: Containing sibutramine (a banned substance), available on local e-commerce and social media platforms.
– ‘HKT HERBA KURUS TRADISI’: Also found to contain sibutramine.
Adeyeye highlighted the potential adverse effects of the potent ingredients found in these products, including Dexamethasone and Prednisolone, both of which are potent steroids that should be used only under strict medical supervision.
She pointed out that prolonged and unsupervised use of steroids could lead to increased blood glucose levels, potentially causing diabetes, high blood pressure, cataracts, muscular and bone disorders, as well as an increased risk of infections and Cushing’s syndrome.
Adeyeye also cautioned against the inappropriate use of Diclofenac, found in these products, as it is a potent painkiller that may cause serious gastric bleeding and cardiovascular events if used for an extended period, particularly in individuals with underlying heart conditions.
Regarding Sibutramine, she noted that it is a banned weight loss medicine in Singapore since 2010 due to the elevated risk of heart attacks and strokes. It can also cause fast heart rate, hallucinations, or hearing voices in users.
Lastly, Adeyeye emphasized that Tadalafil, a prescription medicine for erectile dysfunction, should only be used under medical supervision. Inappropriate use can result in serious adverse effects such as heart attack, stroke, headaches, migraines, irregular heart rate, and priapism (painful, prolonged erections). Tadalafil can also pose severe risks, especially for individuals with heart-related problems.
Adeyeye concluded by urging the public to exercise caution when dealing with these substances, as they all pose significant health hazards.
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