Public advisory

Unauthorized health products seized from Yang Sheng Health Food and G&R Ginseng Trading stores in Richmond, B.C., may pose serious health risks

Last updated

Summary

Product
Unauthorized health products labelled to contain a prescription drug
Issue
Health products - Product safety
Health products - Unauthorized product
What to do

Do not use these products. Buy your prescription drugs only from licensed pharmacies. Return products to your local pharmacy for proper disposal. Consult a health care professional if you have used any of these products and have health concerns.

Affected products

Affected products
Product Promoted use Prescription drug on the label Retail location
999 Ointment (red) Skin treatment Labelled to contain dexamethasone Yang Sheng Health Food Ltd.
1131-3779 Sexsmith Rd.
Richmond, B.C.
999 Ointment (yellow/orange) Skin treatment Labelled to contain ketoconazole

G&R Ginseng Trading Ltd.
1365-4540 No. 3 Rd.
Richmond, B.C.

Yang Sheng Health Food Ltd.
1131-3779 Sexsmith Rd.
Richmond, B.C.

Erythromycin Ointment Skin treatment Labelled to contain erythromycin G&R Ginseng Trading Ltd.
1365-4540 No. 3 Rd.
Richmond, B.C.
Inferno Male Enhancer Sexual enhancement Labelled to contain yohimbe

G&R Ginseng Trading Ltd.
1365-4540 No. 3 Rd.
Richmond, B.C.

G&R Ginseng Trading Ltd.
1433-8388 Capstan Way Richmond, B.C.

Revco Hemo Ointment Hemorrhoidal ointment Labelled to contain neomycin sulfate G&R Ginseng Trading Ltd.
1433-8388 Capstan Way Richmond, B.C.
Taisho Canker Sore Patch Canker sore relief for children five years of age and up Labelled to contain triamcinolone acetonide

G&R Ginseng Trading Ltd.
1365-4540 No. 3 Rd.
Richmond, B.C.

G&R Ginseng Trading Ltd.
1433-8388 Capstan Way Richmond, B.C.

Issue

Health Canada is warning consumers about unauthorized health products it seized from Yang Sheng Health Food Ltd. and two G&R Ginseng Trading Ltd. locations in Richmond, B.C. These products are labelled to contain prescription drugs and may pose serious health risks.

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, these products may not actually contain the active ingredients that consumers 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 to consumers in Canada with a prescription.

What you should do

Additional information

Background

Dexamethasone is a prescription corticosteroid drug available in Canada as tablets, injections, and eye ointments, and is used to treat inflammatory conditions or to suppress the immune system. Dexamethasone as an ointment is not approved as an anti-itch medication. Side effects for topical corticosteroids include skin atrophy (thin and fragile skin with reduced elasticity), skin blood vessel changes (e.g., spider veins), skin colour changes, stretch marks, swelling, dry skin, burning sensations, local irritation, rashes, redness, itching, thinning hair or excessive hair growth, infections and allergic reactions. Topical corticosteroids 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 experiencing these side effects. Systemic side effects could include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, blurred vision, uneven heartbeats, weakness and swelling. Dexamethasone should not be used by people who are allergic to dexamethasone or to any ingredient in the formulation, people who have systemic fungal infections, or people who have received live virus vaccines. Dexamethasone is generally not recommended for use during pregnancy.

Erythromycin is an antibacterial prescription drug used for the prevention and treatment of specific infections. In topical format (applied to the skin), it is used in combination with another drug to treat moderate acne. Possible reactions include local skin irritation (peeling, itching, burning sensation, redness or tenderness) or other skin changes (change in colour, oiliness or swelling), inflammation, or irritation of the face, eyes and nose. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include swelling of the face, mouth, throat, lips and/or eyes, difficulty breathing, burning and/or painful red eyes, eye tearing and skin reactions (rashes, blisters and hives). Misuse or overuse could lead to bacteria growth that could become resistant to the antibiotic erythromycin, which means that treatment may not work in the future.

Ketoconazole is a prescription antifungal drug typically used to treat skin and scalp infections. It should be used only under the supervision of a health care professional. When applied to skin, common side effects include severe irritation, itchiness and stinging. Contact dermatitis (an itchy or painful rash) and painful allergic reactions have been reported more rarely. Ketoconazole should not be used by people who are pregnant or breastfeeding unless directed to by a health care professional.

Neomycin sulfate is an antibiotic prescription drug and should be used only under the supervision of a health care professional. Side effects include allergic reactions that range from mild skin reactions (itching, rashes and hives) to severe, life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis). Side effects such as damage to nerve tissue or the central nervous system, inner ear, and organs responsible for hearing and balance, and reduced kidney function have occurred in patients taking neomycin orally (by mouth) or when applied on the skin to open wounds or damaged skin. As well, when not used as directed, neomycin sulphate could increase the risk of infections resistant to neomycin or other antibiotics. Neomycin sulphate should not be used by people who are pregnant or breastfeeding unless directed to by a health care professional.

Triamcinolone acetonide is a prescription corticosteroid drug available in Canada as a topical cream, ointment and dental paste, and is used to treat inflammatory conditions. Triamcinolone acetonide has not been approved for use as a patch in Canada. Common side effects for topical corticosteroids include skin atrophy (thin and fragile skin with reduced elasticity), skin blood vessel changes (e.g., spider veins), skin colour changes, stretch marks, swelling, dry skin, burning sensations, local irritation, rashes, redness, itching, thinning hair or excessive hair growth, infections and allergic reactions. Topical corticosteroids absorbed through the skin or through the mouth 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, swelling, suppression of the adrenal glands and worsening of a stomach ulcer. Triamcinolone acetonide should not be used by people who are allergic to triamcinolone acetate or to any ingredient in the formulation, people with untreated bacterial or fungal infections involving the skin, people with fungal, viral or bacterial infections of the mouth or throat, people with tuberculosis, a stomach ulcer or diabetes mellitus, and people with certain viral diseases such as herpes simplex or chicken pox. Use of triamcinolone acetonide as a dental paste should be stopped if a local irritation develops. Triamcinolone acetonide is not recommended for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Yohimbine is a prescription drug and should be used only under the supervision of a health care professional. Yohimbine is derived from yohimbe, a bark extract. The use of yohimbine or yohimbe may result in serious adverse reactions, particularly 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 sleep disorders. It should not be used by people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, those who have liver, heart or kidney disease (especially people with a history of stomach or intestinal ulcers), or by people with psychiatric conditions.

Details
Original published date:
Alert / recall type
Public advisory
Category
Health products - Drugs
Companies
Published by
Health Canada
Audience
General public
Identification number
RA-74107
Media and public enquiries

Media Enquiries:
Health Canada
(613) 957-2983
media@hc-sc.gc.ca

Public Enquiries:
(613) 957-2991
1-866 225-0709
info@hc-sc.gc.ca