A public health warning has been issued for the slimming product Sin Den Beauty, which has been found to contain undeclared and banned pharmaceutical ingredients that might be dangerous.
The alert was issued by the Hong Kong Center for Health Protection after a 22-year-old foreign woman was admitted to Kwai Chung Hospital, which treats psychiatric conditions, with acute psychosis, the Oriental Daily reported.
It said a urine sample from the woman, whose nationality was not disclosed, had been found to contain sibutramine metabolites. Sibutramine is prescribed for the treatment of obesity. The government laboratory tested a sample of the product provided by the woman and found it also contained phenolphthalein, an organic compound that is often used as a laxative.
Both products are banned in Hong Kong, though sibutramine was used as an appetite suppressant until 2010, when health authorities warned it could increase cardiovascular risks. Phenolphthalein was once used to treat constipation, but is prohibited because of its cancer-causing effects, according to a government release.
The woman had been using the slimming product for some time after buying in on a social media platform. The health center strongly urged the public not to buy products of unknown or doubtful composition and from unreliable sources. It said that people who had purchased Sin Den Beauty should stop consuming it immediately.