The Department of Health (DH) today (November 12) urged members of the public not to buy or consume a product called Neovidan which was found to have contained undeclared Western drug ingredients that may cause serious side effects.
The appeal was made following an investigation into a case involving a 79-year-old woman who had taken Neovidan, allegedly manufactured by K ENNEN A.G. in Hamburg, W. Germany. It is an unregistered pharmaceutical product.
The woman was presented with facial puffiness, proximal muscle weakness, lower limb swelling and thin skin after consuming the drug.
Investigation by the DH revealed that the woman claimed she had bought the product in a medicine shop in Kwun Tong for curing joint pain.
The woman was admitted in United Christian Hospital on November 1 and was discharged on November 7. She is now in stable condition.
The DH today conducted a test purchase at some 150 medicine shops. So far, no Neovidan was found.
Neovidan was found to have contained Western drug ingredients including prednisolone and mefenamic acid.
Prednisolone is a steroid. Taking prednisolone for a long time can cause side effects such as moon face (round face), high blood pressure, high blood sugar and peptic ulcer.
Mefenamic acid is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. The known side effects include gastro-intestinal discomfort, nausea, stomach pain and bleeding.
People who have been using Neovidan are advised to seek medical advice before stopping the medication to avoid the adverse effects of sudden withdrawal of medication.
In Hong Kong, products containing Western drug ingredients must be registered under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance before sale. The possession or sale of unregistered pharmaceutical product is an offence liable to the maximum penalties of a $100,000 fine and two years imprisonment.
They should dispose of the product or submit it to the departments Pharmaceutical Service at 3/F, Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon during office hours.