Public advisory

Unauthorized health products seized from three herbal medicine stores in Calgary, Alberta

Last updated

Summary

Product
Unauthorized skin cream, eye ointment and sexual enhancement products seized from three herbal medicine stores in Calgary, Alberta. [UPDATED June 16, 2022, to add products]
Issue
Health products - Product safety
Health products - Unauthorized product
What to do

Do not use these products. Consult a health care professional if you have used any of these products and have health concerns.

Affected products

Product Risk Retail location Date added
Dexamethasone Acetate Cream Labelled to contain dexamethasone acetate

Wah Loong Chinese Herbs Ltd.
9650 Harvest Hills Blvd. N #1003
Calgary, AB

Wah Shun Chinese Herbs & Ginseng
25 Heritage Meadows Way SE
Calgary, AB

2022-04-22
Erythromycin Eye Ointment Labelled to contain erythromycin

Wah Loong Chinese Herbs Ltd.
9650 Harvest Hills Blvd. N #1003
Calgary, AB

2022-04-22
Tadalafil Tablets
Sexual enhancement
Labelled to contain tadalafil

Wah Hing Chinese Ginseng Center
999 36 Street NE #800G
Calgary, AB

2022-04-22
Aokeman Biaoge
Sexual enhancement
Product tested by Health Canada and found to contain sildenafil

Wah Hing Chinese Ginseng Center
999 36 Street NE #800G
Calgary, AB

Wah Loong Chinese Herbs Ltd.
9650 Harvest Hills Blvd. N #1003
Calgary, AB

Wah Shun Chinese Herbs & Ginseng
25 Heritage Meadows Way SE
Calgary, AB

2022-06-16
Chong Cao Lu Bian Wan
Sexual enhancement
Product tested by Health Canada and found to contain sildenafil

Wah Hing Chinese Ginseng Center
999 36 Street NE #800G
Calgary, AB

2022-06-16
Chong Cao Lu Bian Wong
Sexual enhancement
Product tablet and capsule tested by Health Canada and capsule found to contain sildenafil

Wah Hing Chinese Ginseng Center
999 36 Street NE #800G
Calgary, AB

Wah Shun Chinese Herbs & Ginseng
25 Heritage Meadows Way SE
Calgary, AB

2022-06-16
Chong Cao Shuang Shen
Sexual enhancement
Product tested by Health Canada and found to contain sildenafil and acetaminophen

Wah Hing Chinese Ginseng Center
999 36 Street NE #800G
Calgary, AB

Wah Loong Chinese Herbs Ltd.
9650 Harvest Hills Blvd. N #1003
Calgary, AB

Wah Shun Chinese Herbs & Ginseng
25 Heritage Meadows Way SE
Calgary, AB

2022-06-16
Germany Black Ants (Sheng Jing Pian)
Sexual enhancement
Product tested by Health Canada and found to contain sildenafil and ciprofloxacin

Wah Hing Chinese Ginseng Center
999 36 Street NE #800G
Calgary, AB

Wah Loong Chinese Herbs Ltd.
9650 Harvest Hills Blvd. N #1003
Calgary, AB

Wah Shun Chinese Herbs & Ginseng
25 Heritage Meadows Way SE
Calgary, AB

2022-06-16
Germany Black King Kong (De Guo Hei Jin Gang)
Sexual enhancement
Product tested by Health Canada and found to contain sildenafil

Wah Hing Chinese Ginseng Center
999 36 Street NE #800G
Calgary, AB

Wah Loong Chinese Herbs Ltd.
9650 Harvest Hills Blvd. N #1003
Calgary, AB

2022-06-16
King Kung Fu
Sexual enhancement
Product tested by Health Canada and found to contain sildenafil

Wah Hing Chinese Ginseng Center
999 36 Street NE #800G
Calgary, AB

2022-06-16
Li Long Germany Black King Kong
Sexual enhancement
Product tested by Health Canada and found to contain sildenafil and ciprofloxacin

Wah Hing Chinese Ginseng Center
999 36 Street NE #800G
Calgary, AB

Wah Loong Chinese Herbs Ltd.
9650 Harvest Hills Blvd. N #1003
Calgary, AB

2022-06-16
Lu Rong Sheng Jing Wan
Sexual enhancement
Product tested by Health Canada and found to contain sildenafil

Wah Hing Chinese Ginseng Center
999 36 Street NE #800G
Calgary, AB

Wah Loong Chinese Herbs Ltd.
9650 Harvest Hills Blvd. N #1003
Calgary, AB

2022-06-16
Lu Xie Shen Dan
Sexual enhancement
Product tested by Health Canada and found to contain sildenafil, diclofenac and glyburide

Wah Hing Chinese Ginseng Center
999 36 Street NE #800G
Calgary, AB

2022-06-16
Vigour 800
Sexual enhancement
Product tested by Health Canada and found to contain sildenafil and ciprofloxacin

Wah Hing Chinese Ginseng Center
999 36 Street NE #800G
Calgary, AB

Wah Shun Chinese Herbs & Ginseng
25 Heritage Meadows Way SE
Calgary, AB

2022-06-16

Issue

UPDATE (June 15, 2022):
Health Canada is warning consumers about additional unauthorized products seized from three herbal medicine stores in Calgary, Alberta, after testing found they contain drugs that are not listed on the product label, which may pose serious health risks. The products are promoted for sexual enhancement. Please refer to the Affected Products table and Background section, which have been updated to include the added products and associated health risks.

Original Advisory (April 22, 2022):
Health Canada is warning consumers not to use unauthorized health products seized from three herbal medicine stores in Calgary, Alberta, because they are labelled to contain prescription drugs and may pose serious health risks. The products include skin cream, eye ointment and sexual enhancement tablets.

Selling unauthorized health products in Canada is illegal. Unauthorized health products have not been approved by Health Canada, which means that they have not been assessed for safety, efficacy and quality and may pose a range of serious health risks. For example, they could contain high-risk ingredients, such as prescription drugs, additives or contaminants that may or may not be listed on the label. These ingredients could interact with other medications and foods. In addition, the product may lack the active ingredients Canadians would expect them to contain to help maintain and improve their health.

Prescription drugs should only be used under the advice and supervision of a health care professional because they are used to treat specific conditions and may cause serious side effects. Prescription drugs can only be legally sold with a prescription.

If any new health risks are identified, Health Canada will take action and inform Canadians as needed. Health Canada maintains a list of certain unauthorized health products that may pose serious health risks so that Canadians can easily identify those they may have purchased and take appropriate action. Canadians are encouraged to check back regularly for updates.

What you should do

  • Do not use these products. Consult a health care 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 side effects or complaints to Health Canada.

Additional information

Background

Acetaminophen is a drug that can pose serious health risks, including liver damage, if too much is taken. This may lead to liver failure or, in the most severe cases, death. Early signs of taking too much acetaminophen include nausea, vomiting, lethargy, sweating, loss of appetite and pain in the upper part of the abdomen or stomach. Abdominal pain may be the first sign of liver damage and may not be apparent for 24 to 48 hours. Acetaminophen may also cause serious skin reactions. Symptoms include blistering, skin reddening and rash.

Ciprofloxacin in oral format (taken by mouth) is a prescription antibacterial drug used to treat bacterial infections of the lungs and airways, urinary system, prostate, skin, soft tissues, bones, and joints. It can also be used to treat diarrhea and certain sexually transmitted diseases caused by bacterial infections. Side effects may include nausea, diarrhea, joint pain, itching, and poor kidney function. Rare but serious side effects include disabling and possibly long-lasting tendonitis (tendon inflammation), tendon rupture (including the Achilles Tendon), nerve damage, neurological problems (including seizures), life-threatening heart issues (including heart electrical problems), myasthenia gravis (muscle disease), liver injury, and serious allergic reactions, including death. It is important to use this drug as directed by a health care professional. Misuse or overuse could lead to bacteria growth that will not be killed by ciprofloxacin, and could lead to bacterial resistance (the drug may not work in the future).

Dexamethasone is a prescription corticosteroid drug used to treat various inflammatory conditions. It has not been approved for use in creams in Canada. Common side effects for topical corticosteroids include skin redness, burning sensation, change in skin pigmentation, thinning of the skin, inflammation of hair follicles, stretch marks, skin blood vessel changes (e.g., spider veins) and skin atrophy (e.g., fragile skin, with reduced elasticity). Dexamethasone, when absorbed through the skin, may cause side effects throughout the body, especially when used over a large surface area and for a long time. This risk is greater in children, who may absorb proportionally larger amounts and be more susceptible to side effects. Systemic side effects could include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, blurred vision, uneven heartbeats, weakness, and swelling. Dexamethasone is generally not recommended for use during pregnancy.

Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to relieve pain and inflammation (for example, pain and swelling associated with certain types of arthritis). In oral format (taken by mouth), it is a prescription drug. Diclofenac increases the risk of serious heart-related events (such as heart attack and stroke), high blood pressure, stomach or intestinal bleeding or ulcers, severe kidney or liver problems, and bleeding or clotting problems. It should not be used by patients who have: severe heart problems; stomach or intestinal conditions; bleeding disorders; a history of asthma or allergic-type reactions after taking diclofenac, acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) or other NSAIDs; severe kidney or liver problems; or high potassium. It should also not be used by children less than 16 years old, or by women in the third trimester of pregnancy or who are breastfeeding. Use in the first and second trimester of pregnancy must be carefully weighed by a doctor and may require increased monitoring. Diclofenac risks may be higher for patients taking other medications, as well as elderly patients.

Erythromycin eye ointment is an antibacterial prescription drug used to treat bacterial eye infections. Side effects include hives and skin rashes. Rare but serious side effects include severe allergic reaction, with symptoms such as swelling of the face, mouth, throat, lips, eyes, difficulty breathing, burning and/or painful red eyes, eye tearing, and skin reactions (rash, blisters and hives). It is important to use this ointment exactly as directed. Misuse or overuse could lead to bacteria growth that will not be killed by the erythromycin, which means that it may not work in the future (resistance).

Glyburide is a prescription drug used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes. Side effects may include severely low blood sugar (which can be life-threatening), stomach or intestinal problems, and serious skin and hypersensitivity reactions. Glyburide should not be used by people who: are less than 18 years of age; have type 1 diabetes; are pregnant or breastfeeding; or have liver disease or kidney impairment. It should also not be used during times of severe stress, such as during infection, mental stress, physical injury, or surgery. Risks may be higher for patients taking other medications, as well as elderly patients.

Sildenafil is a prescription drug used to treat erectile dysfunction and should be used only under the supervision of a health care professional. It should not be used by individuals taking any kind of nitrate drug (e.g. nitroglycerine) as it can cause potentially life-threatening low blood pressure. Individuals with heart problems are at increased risk of cardiovascular side effects such as heart attack, stroke, chest pain, high blood pressure and abnormal heartbeat. Other possible side effects include headache, facial flushing, indigestion, dizziness, abnormal vision, and hearing loss.

Tadalafil is a prescription drug used to treat erectile dysfunction and should be used only under the supervision of a health care professional. It should not be used by individuals taking any kind of nitrate drug (e.g., nitroglycerine) since it can cause potentially life-threatening low blood pressure. Individuals with heart problems are at increased risk of cardiovascular side effects such as heart attack, stroke, chest pain, high blood pressure and abnormal heartbeat. Other possible side effects include headache, facial flushing, indigestion, dizziness, abnormal vision, and hearing loss.

Details
Original published date: 2022-04-22
Alert / recall type
Public advisory
Category
Health product - Drugs
Published by
Health Canada
Audience
General public
Identification number
RA-64103
Media and public enquiries

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613-957-2983
media@hc-sc.gc.ca

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