SA slimming products scare

2010-04-03 00:00

AT least eight slimming products imported from China have so far tested positive for the controlled substance sibutramine.

Inspectors from the South African Medicines Control Council (MCC) have to scramble to keep up with the deluge of imports and catch them before they reach the market.

Besides shipments of Simply Slim, Forme Slim, NuEvo and HNS New Me, which were reported on earlier this year, Maxi Slim, Studio Slim, Evo Slim and Slimline products reportedly also tested positive for sibutramine over the past two months.

Some distributors have had to withdraw the contaminated products from the market and most have started using South African manufacturers instead.

One reason for this is that they don’t trust their Chinese suppliers.

Experts warn that it is extremely dangerous to ingest unregistered prescription substances like sibutramine because it might contain dangerously high levels of the active ingredients.

After Carla Kotze of Malmesbury lost 22 kg by using Simply Slim, she had her capsules tested and found out that the two boxes contained 33,2 mg and 28,4 mg of sibutramine respectively.

The maximum recommended dose of sibutramine is 15 mg. The content was thus double the strength of the strongest prescription slimming aid on the market, and to make matters worse, she wasn’t under a doctor’s supervision while taking the capsules.

According to tests done at Pharmaworx, NuEvo contains 29 mg of sibutramine.

The American Food and Drug Administration warned in January that people with a history of heart disease, stroke, arrhythmia, heart attacks or blood pressure problems (above 145/90mmHg) shouldn’t even use the allowed dose of registered sibutramine.

The MCC’s inspectors have intercepted and tested all slimming aids at customs ports, while some distributors have done their own testing.


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