Calgary

Products seized from Calgary health store include banned drugs, veterinary medicine

Health Canada says it's tested two unauthorized products seized from a Chinese herbal shop in Calgary and found they contain prescription drugs that cannot be sold in Canada, that were unlisted on the product labels. 

Selling unauthorized health products is illegal in Canada

Health Canada says a number of unauthorized products containing prescription or banned drugs were seized from this store in northeast Calgary. (Google Maps)

Health Canada says it's tested two unauthorized products seized from a Chinese herbal shop in Calgary and found they contain prescription drugs that cannot be sold in Canada, that were unlisted on the product labels. 

Health Canada said it seized a number of health products on Sunday from Sunrise Lee Chinese Herbs Centre, located in Pacific Place Mall in northeast Calgary

The products, which include sexual enhancement capsules, cold and flu tablets, diet drugs and creams for skin conditions, were labelled, primarily in Chinese and not English, as containing prescription drugs and drugs that are banned in Canada.

On Wednesday, Health Canada said it had tested two additional seized products — Slim 30 Ultra and Sugar Balancer — and found that they also contained a banned drug and a prescription drug, neither of which were marked on the products' labels.

Drugs linked to risk of heart attack, liver damage

Slim 30 Ultra contained sibutramine, an obesity drug that's not allowed to be sold in Canada because it can cause increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Sugar Balancer contained repaglinide, a prescription drug that decreases blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes, which could be serious for patients who have Type 1 diabetes, do not have diabetes, are elderly, have liver disease or skip meals, and can cause interactions with other drugs.

Health Canada said anyone using Slim 30 Ultra or Sugar Balancer should stop immediately and contact their doctor if they have experienced side effects. (Health Canada)

"Unauthorized health products have not been approved by Health Canada, which means that they have not been assessed for safety, effectiveness and quality, and may pose serious health risks," the agency said, adding that selling unauthorized health products in Canada is illegal. 

Other products seized include:

  • Compound diclofenac sodium and chlorphenamine maleate tablets, which contain a prescription drug that increases risk of serious heart-related events, kidney disease and serious liver disease.
  • Dexamethasone acetate cream, which contains an unapproved prescription drug that can cause side effects when absorbed through the skin.
  • Fluocinonide cream, which contains a prescription drug that can cause side effects.
  • I-Ching-Sung diacetyldiphenolisatin 5 mg tablets, which contains a drug banned in Canada because it can cause serious liver damage.
  • Yansuan Jinmeisu Yangao, which contains a veterinary prescription drug not approved for human use in Canada.
  • Yohimbe XV, which contains a prescription drug that can cause serious adverse reactions.

Health Canada is asking anyone who used any of the products above to stop using them and contact their doctors.

Many of the drugs are considered unsafe for children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with certain pre-existing conditions.

The agency also said customers should read labels to verify that drugs have been authorized to be sold. Authorized drugs should have an eight-digit Drug Identification Number. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.