Health :: Caution issued on medicinal product

The Department of Health has warned consumers not to buy a medicinal product called Shenxiaotoutongsan as it contains three undeclared Western drug ingredients that may cause side effects.

The department took samples after the Hospital Authority reported a case involving a 36-year-old woman who had consumed the product brought back from the Mainland.

The patient was admitted to United Christian Hospital for headache and neurological symptoms on August 4. She has been discharged and investigations revealed that her admission was not related to the product.

However, laboratory analysis has shown it contains phenacetin, aminopyrine and phenobarbitone, which were not declared on its labels.

Serious side-effects

Phenacetin and aminopyrine were used previously as pain killers but were banned in Hong Kong in 1983 and 1984 due to their serious side-effects.

Phenobarbitone is a western drug ingredient used for the management of epilepsy. Its known side-effects are sedation and respiratory depression. Under the Pharmacy & Poisons Ordinance, products containing this ingredient can only be sold on a doctor’s prescription and under the supervision of a pharmacist.

The product concerned was not registered in Hong Kong and the department has no record of it being imported for sale.

People who have been using it should immediately stop taking it, seek medical attention if they feel unwell, and dispose of the product.