Testing finds pharmaceutical ingredients in unauthorized health products seized from Sunrise Lee Chinese Herbs Centre in Calgary, Alberta

Last updated:

May 8, 2019
For immediate release

OTTAWA – Further to an advisory issued April 5, 2019, Health Canada is advising consumers that testing has found that two unauthorized products, Slim 30 Ultra and Sugar Balancer, contain pharmaceutical ingredients that are not listed on their product label and may pose serious health risks. Slim 30 Ultra contains a chemical similar to sibutramine, a prescription drug that is not authorized for sale in Canada. Sugar Balancer contains the prescription drug repaglinide. 

The products were seized from Sunrise Lee Chinese Herbs Centre (999 36th Street NE) in Calgary, Alberta, and are in addition to the products that Health Canada warned about in a previous advisory.

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. They may contain ingredients, additives or contaminated ingredients not listed on the label. In addition, they may lack the active ingredients Canadians would expect them to contain to help maintain and improve their health or they may contain ingredients that could interact with other medications and foods. For all of these reasons, unauthorized health products could cause serious health effects. Selling unauthorized health products in Canada is illegal.

Affected products

Photo Product Risk
Slim 30 Ultra Testing found N,N-Didesmethylsibutramine 
Sugar Balancer Testing found repaglinide

What you should do

  • Stop using these products. Consult your healthcare professional if you have used any of these products and have health concerns.
  • Read product labels to verify that health products have been authorized for sale by Health Canada. Authorized health products have an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN), Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Drug Number (DIN-HM). You can also check whether products have been authorized for sale by searching Health Canada’s Drug Product Database and Licensed Natural Health Product Database.
  • Report any health product-related adverse reactions or complaints to Health Canada.

Who is affected

  • Consumers who have bought or used any of the products listed below.

Background

Prescription drugs should be taken only under the advice and supervision of a healthcare professional because they are used to treat specific diseases and may cause serious side effects. Using a product that contains ingredients not listed on the label can cause serious side effects, such as an allergic reaction in people allergic to the drug ingredient or interactions with other medications and foods.

Repaglinide is a prescription drug indicated to decrease blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It should not be used by patients with type 1 diabetes, severe liver disease, or in combination with gemfibrozil (a drug to lower fats). Repaglinide should not be used by pregnant or nursing women, and with caution by patients with heart or kidney disease. Repaglinide can cause low blood sugar, which can be very serious, especially in patients who do not have diabetes, are elderly, have liver disease, or skip meals, and after strenuous or prolonged exercise, or when taken with alcohol or certain other drugs.

N,N-Didesmethylsibutramine is an unauthorized substance similar to sibutramine and may pose similar health risks. Sibutramine was previously used to treat obesity but is no longer authorized for sale in Canada because of its association with an increased risk of cardiovascular side effects such as heart attack and stroke. Other side effects include increased blood pressure and heart rate, dry mouth, difficulty sleeping and constipation.

Health Canada
(613) 957-2983
[email protected]

Public Enquiries:

Public enquiries

(613) 957-2991
1-866 225-0709

What Health Canada is doing

Health Canada seized the products from the retail location. Should additional safety concerns be identified, Health Canada will take appropriate action and inform Canadians as necessary.

Images

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Sugar Balancer
Slim 30 Ultra

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