Dear A.S.S. Editor
The HSA has warned the public not to buy or consume two products promoted in Malaysia as traditional Chinese medicine. This comes after two elderly women fell ill after taking them. One of the woman, who is in her 70s, was even warded in the ICU after experiencing severe breathing difficulty.
The HSA named the two products as Wan Ling Ren Sem Chin Kuo Pill and Chong Cao Dan, and they contain undeclared Western medicinal ingredients, including a potent steroid called dexamethasone. The elderly woman currently warded in the ICU had taken Wan Ling Ren Sem Chin Kuo Pill daily for four to five years for rheumatism and pain. She ended up suffering from adrenal insufficiency, a serious condition where the body does not produce enough steroid hormones, resulting in weakness, muscle and joint pain, low blood pressure and fits or shock.
Another woman in her 60s who had taken Chong Cao Dan weekly for the past two to three years for blood circulation and to relieve muscle aches and pain, fainted twice this year and developed Cushing's syndrome. Cushing's syndrome causes round or a "moon" face and thinning of the skin.
According to HSA, the woman's aches and pain returned if she did not take the product. Her high blood pressure also worsened due to prolonged consumption of steroids. The woman is currently receiving outpatient care to manage her conditions.
Both products were promoted as traditional Chinese medicine and claimed to contain herbal ingredients that could help tackle conditions such as pain, numbness of the limbs and blood circulation