Public advisory

Unauthorized injectable drug products sold online by Canlab Research may pose serious health risks

Last updated

Summary

Product
Product: Unauthorized injectable drug products sold online by Canlab Research
Issue
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. Only buy prescription drugs from licensed pharmacies. Read product labels to verify that health products have been authorized for sale by Health Canada.

Affected products

  • Unauthorized injectable drug products sold online by Canlab Research

Issue

Health Canada is warning consumers not to buy unauthorized injectable drug products from Canlab Research because they may pose serious health risks. The products are promoted as peptides and are sold online via Canlab Research websites including www.canlabresearch.com and www.canlab.net.

Peptides carry out a range of important functions in the body. Some peptides can be produced for use in medications. Examples of injectable prescription drugs available for sale on Canlab Research websites include oxytocin and triptorelin. More information on the specific risks for these drugs can be found in the Background section below.

Most synthetic injectable peptides are regulated as prescription drugs in Canada and require a prescription from a licenced health care professional. 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, additives or contaminants that may or may not be listed on the label. Unauthorized injectable drugs also carry significant risk due to potential for infection, allergic reactions, and poor outcomes.

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.

Health Canada has ordered Canlab Research to stop advertising and selling all unauthorized health products and will take further compliance and enforcement action to protect consumer health and safety if necessary. Health Canada is also working with the Canada Border Services Agency to help prevent importation of these unauthorized health products.

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.
  • Only buy prescription drugs from licensed pharmacies.
  • Follow municipal or regional guidelines on how to dispose of chemicals and other hazardous waste or return the product to your local pharmacy for proper disposal.
  • Avoid buying health products from questionable or untrustworthy websites. Be aware of the risks of buying heath products online.
  • 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

This is not a complete description of all the unauthorized health products advertised and sold on the Canlab Research websites. Safety information is being provided specifically for two unauthorized products, which would be considered prescription drugs, to help inform consumers of the risks they may be exposing themselves to when taking unauthorized health products purchased from the websites.

Triptorelin is a prescription peptide drug used to treat prostate cancer, reduce pain associated with endometriosis, and control the timing of ovulation in fertility treatments. It is given to patients by injection, which should only be done under the supervision of a health care professional. It should not be used by individuals who are pregnant or nursing, as it changes the levels of hormones involved in reproductive function and development, which may harm the fetus and infant. Triptorelin may increase the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects (including heart attack and stroke), particularly in individuals with a history of heart problems, a genetic heart condition called "long QT syndrome," or who are taking medications that affect heart rhythm. Triptorelin may also cause anaphylactic reactions with symptoms like difficulty breathing and low blood pressure, increase the risk of depression or worsen existing depression, and increase the risk of bleeding or loss of blood flow to the pituitary gland (small gland located in the head that produces several hormones). Long-term use has been shown to reduce bone mineral density and increase the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. Other possible side effects include, but are not limited to, hot flushes, headache, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, upper respiratory tract infection, throat infection, and erectile dysfunction.

Oxytocin is a prescription peptide drug used to help start or continue labor and to control bleeding after delivery. Oxytocin may also be used for other conditions, as determined by a health care provider. It is given to patients through intravenous injection by a health care provider in a hospital setting under strict medical supervision (such as monitoring blood pressure and fetal heart rate to adjust dosage according to the individual response). Oxytocin should not be used in patients who have any of the following conditions: significant cephalopelvic disproportion (disproportion in the size of the fetus compared to the pelvis of the person giving birth), severe toxemia (pregnancy-related high blood pressure), malposition of the fetus or placenta, prematurity or unripe cervix, risk of uterine rupture or excessive contractions, factors that increase the risk of blood clotting or amniotic fluid entering the bloodstream, serious medical or obstetric conditions accompanied by distress in the baby, lack of available medical care, or an allergy to oxytocin. Possible side effects include a serious condition called water intoxication with symptoms like headache, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, lethargy, drowsiness, unconsciousness and seizures, as well as allergic reactions with symptoms like difficulty breathing and low blood pressure. Symptoms of overdose include slowing of the baby's heart rate, meconium staining (baby passing stool before birth), asphyxia (lack of oxygen), excessive contractions, uterine rupture, placenta not being delivered, or weak uterine contractions after birth.

Details
Original published date:
Alert / recall type
Public advisory
Category
Health products - Drugs
Companies
Published by
Health Canada
Audience
Identification number
RA-74731
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

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