TGA warns of serious health risk of weight loss capsules

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 9th March 2012

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which is the Australian government regulatory agency for medicines, legal drugs and complementary health products, has issued a public safety advisory to notify consumers (or potential consumers) of  serious risks that a product known as Xiyouji Qingzhi weight loss capsules may pose to health.

The TGA has pointed out that the supply of Xiyouji Qingzhi weight loss capsules in Australia is illegal. However, a number of people in Australia have bought the product online.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has tested Xiyouji Qingzhi weight loss capsules and found that:

– it contains the undeclared prescription substance sibutramine (which was the active ingredient in Reductil) – this is despite the claim made on the box that it is a natural product and contains no medicines.

– consumers are advised that sibutramine was a prescription-only medicine supplied in Australia until it was withdrawn in October 2010 after a study showed an increased risk of major cardiac events.

– the levels of sibutramine the capsules contain are higher than the levels previously approved by the TGA for prescription sibutramine.

Information for consumers

The TGA advises that Xiyouji Qingzhi weight loss capsules pose a serious risk to your health. Stop taking Xiyouji Qingzhi weight loss capsules and discard any remaining capsules.

If you have any concerns arising from your use of this product, consult your health care practitioner.

Xiyouji Qingzhi weight loss capsules have not been assessed by the TGA for quality, safety or efficacy as required under Australian legislation, and the place of manufacture is not approved by the TGA.

Action the TGA is taking

The TGA is working with Australian Customs and Border Protection Services (Customs) to help stop future shipments of Xiyouji Qingzhi weight loss capsules from entering Australia.

If these tablets are found at the border by Customs they will be seized and destroyed.

The TGA is advising consumers to exercise extreme caution when purchasing medicines from unknown overseas Internet sites. Products purchased over the Internet:

– may contain undisclosed and potentially harmful ingredients

– may not meet the same standards of quality, safety and efficacy as those approved by the TGA for supply in Australia.