Unauthorized health products removed from shelves in Cochrane and Calgary

According to Health Canadamore than a dozen health products labeled to help with sexual enhancement, weight loss, as a workout aid, as “poppers”, or to lighten skin or treat skin conditions (such as eczema or psoriasis) have been seized from shelves in Cochrane and Calgary.

Reflex Supplements in Cochrane had more than a dozen supplements seized from its store, while Wah Loong Chinese Herbs Ltd and Wah Hing Chinese Ginseng Centre, both located in Calgary, seized two products.

Several of the products on the Cochrane site contained the prescription drug yohimbine, which can cause serious side effects, especially in people with high blood pressure or heart, kidney or liver disease.

“Side effects include increased blood pressure and heart rate, anxiety, dizziness, tremors, headache, nausea, and trouble sleeping. It should not be used by children or pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Other products included ingredients such as cardarine, which is only authorized for use in Canada, and selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs). Using bodybuilding products containing SARMs can pose serious health risks such as heart attacks, strokes, and liver damage.

“All clinical development activities aimed at commercializing cardarine were halted when toxicities, including various cancers, were discovered following routine long-term animal studies.”

The Calgary products contained ingredients like dexamethasone and tadalafil. Systemic side effects of using dexamethasone can include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, blurred vision, irregular heartbeats, weakness, and swelling. Dexamethasone is generally not recommended during pregnancy. Although tadalafil is a prescription drug used to treat erectile dysfunction, people taking any type of nitrate medication should not use it as it can cause life-threatening low blood pressure.

“Other possible side effects include headache, flushing, indigestion, dizziness, abnormal vision and hearing loss.”

Unauthorized health products are products that have not been approved by Health Canada and may contain ingredients that are not listed on the label.

“This includes ingredients such as prescription drugs, possibly in doses exceeding the maximum recommended amounts. Using a product containing ingredients of which the consumer is not aware increases the risk of dangerous allergies and interactions with other drugs and foods.”

Maria J. Book