Materia Medica Malaysiana

March 26, 2007

Dealer of deadly herbal sex booster to be charged soon

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:36 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: It was promoted as a herbal health supplement especially for men. Those who consumed it found that it gave them something extra — it boosted their libido.
Introduced in the local market four years ago, MaxonHerbs, after it was registered with the National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau as a health supplement, became a hot topic among the men since it was claimed to be completely herbal.
It even became lucky draw prizes at golf competitions replacing traditional prizes such as “Boston” bags and putters and was also widely distributed in goodie bags.
On Jan 10, MaxonHerbs was deregistered by the bureau when it was found to contain two chemical adulterants which can cause numerous health problems.
Tests carried out on samples sold in the market found aminotadalafil, a US Food and Drug Administration-approved drug used as treatment for erectile dysfunction.
A bureau official said aminotadalafil can interact with nitrates contained in some prescription drugs and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels.
“Consumers with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease who often take nitrates can suffer other health problems, especially since they are not aware that aminotadalafil was present in the product,” he said.
Tests on MaxonHerbs also disclosed a second compound called hydroxy-homosildenafil which is also used to treat erectile dysfunction.
The Kuala Lumpur enforcement branch of the Health Ministry’s Pharmaceutical Services Division conducted raids in the city in January and seized 343 boxes of MaxonHerbs worth a few hundred thousand ringgit.
MaxonHerbs was initially registered with the bureau as a traditional herbal health supplement said to, among others, increase energy, reduce fatigue, improve men’s health, ease urination and relieve backache.
Health Ministry pharmaceutical services division deputy director Ershah A. Rahman said this was the first time the division had come across a product which contained two Scheduled Poison substances used for erectile dysfunction.
“This is dangerous and poses a high risk to consumers.”
She advised consumers not to use the de-registered product as the concentration of the adulterates was unknown.
Aminotadalafil and hydroxy-homosildenafil, she added, were safe to use under doctor’s prescription and with the patient taking them closely monitored.
“Those who take the product can suffer breathing difficulties and even heart failure,” said Ershah.
Among the other side effects are headache, facial flushing, upset stomach and blurred vision.
“Long-term users of this de-registered product can also lose their vision due to the high dose of the scheduled drugs in them.”
Ershah advised members of the public to report to the authorities if they come across anyone selling MaxonHerbs, in outlets or through direct sales.
The distributor of the product will soon be charged in court under the Poisons Act 1952 and if found guilty is liable to a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or two years’ jail or both.

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