OTTAWA, Jan. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - As the rate of obesity has increased in
Canada, so has the market for weight-loss products. While authorized
health products for weight loss may provide benefits when used properly
as part of a weight management program, the use of unauthorized health
products may pose serious risks to your health.
The vast majority of natural health products (NHPs) have a history of safe use and are responsibly marketed. But some
products found on the Canadian market have been represented as NHPs and
have been found to contain hidden, potentially dangerous ingredients
such as prescription medications that are not identified on the label.
As a result, Health Canada has identified and taken action on a number
of unauthorized health products promoted for weight loss. Many of these products have been found to
contain the undeclared pharmaceutical ingredient sibutramine or similar
Sibutramine was previously used to treat obesity but is no longer authorized for sale in Canada because of its association with an increased risk of cardiovascular
side-effects such as heart attack and stroke. In addition to heart
attack and stroke, side-effects associated with sibutramine include
increased blood pressure and heart rate, dry mouth, difficulty sleeping
Health Canada would like to remind Canadians who are concerned about
their weight to talk to their health care practitioner about the best
way to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Moreover, if you are
considering the use of health products for weight loss, discuss the potential benefits and risks with your health care
Consulting your health care practitioner is especially important if you
are under the age of 18, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It's
also important if you have any medical conditions or serious diseases,
such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or any other
serious chronic conditions.
If new products are found to contain undeclared prescription drugs or
other potentially dangerous substances, Health Canada will add them to
its list of affected products. Canadians are advised to monitor this list for updates.
To report suspected adverse reaction to these or other health products,
please contact the Canada Vigilance Program of Health Canada toll-free
at 1-866-234-2345, or complete a Canada Vigilance Reporting Form and send to us using one of these methods:
Mail: Canada Vigilance Program
Marketed Health Products Directorate
Ottawa, ON, Address Locator 0701E
Stay connected with Health Canada and receive the latest advisories and
product recalls using social media tools.
SOURCE: Health Canada
For further information:
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