NAFDAC warns against use of products with steroids
The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has warned Nigerians against the use of four products found to contain potent medicinal ingredients, steroids and other banned substances.
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, issued the warning in Abuja on Sunday.
She said the agency was notified of the product in a statement by the Health Sciences Authority of Singapore.
Adeyeye said that the implicated potent medicinal ingredients are not allowed in the affected products and may cause severe side effects on consumers.
According to her, “The HSA confirmed that four consumers experienced adverse effects after taking three of the products.
“Laboratory analysis conducted by HSA on the products revealed that they contain potent medicinal ingredients, including steroids.
“The products also contain sibutramine (a banned weight loss medicine) and tadalafil, an erectile dysfunction medicine.”
According to her, possible adverse effects of potent ingredients found in the products are dexamethasone and prednisolone.
She said the products are potent steroids that are usually prescribed for inflammatory conditions and could only be used under strict medical supervision.
Adeyeye said that long-term unsupervised use of steroids can cause increased blood glucose levels, which she said may lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, cataracts, muscular and bone disorders.
She said that steroids could also cause an increased risk of infections and Cushing’s syndrome (a round or ‘moon face’ appearance and upper body obesity with thin limbs).
The NAFDAC boss added that discontinuation of steroids without proper medical supervision can cause serious withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, confusion and low blood pressure.
She also described Diclofenac in the products as a potent painkiller that may potentially cause serious gastric bleeding, as well as cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and stroke when used for a prolonged period.
According to her, Diclofenac should be used under close medical supervision, especially in consumers with underlying heart conditions.
The D-G said that Sibutramine is a medicine prescribed for weight loss, and has been banned in Singapore since 2010 because of an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Other serious adverse effects include fast heart rate, hallucinations or hearing voices which she said had also been reported by consumers who took slimming products adulterated with sibutramine.
She stated that Tadalafil is a prescription medicine used to treat erectile dysfunction that should only be used under medical supervision.
“Inappropriate use of tadalafil is dangerous and can increase the risk of serious adverse effects, including heart attack, stroke, headache, migraine, irregular heart rate and priapism (painful and exceedingly long erections).
“Tadalafil can also pose serious risks to certain individuals, including those with heart-related problems. It can cause potentially life-threatening low blood pressure in those who are on heart medications, especially those containing nitrates,” she said.
Adeyeye further warned the public to be cautious of the substances, stressing that they are all dangerous to health.