Health Canada recalls unauthorized products that ‘may contain dangerous ingredients’

The products are promoted for sexual enhancement, weight loss, as a workout aid, or as ‘poppers’

Health Canada has issued a recall of 23 various unauthorized health products that may contain dangerous ingredients such as prescription drugs that are not listed on the labels. 

The department issued the recall on Feb. 10, noting that the products are promoted for sexual enhancement, weight loss, as a workout aid, or as “poppers”. Consumers are advised to immediately stop using the products and consult a healthcare professional if they have any health concerns. 

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Unauthorized health products have not been approved by Health Canada, which means that they have not been assessed for safety, effectiveness and quality. As such, they may contain ingredients that are not listed on the label, such as prescription drugs, and possibly at doses exceeding maximum recommended amounts. However, the label may also indicate a dangerous ingredient or combination of ingredients. 

In order to verify that products have been authorized for sale by Health Canada, consumers should carefully read product labels. Authorized health products have an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN), Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Drug Number (DIN-HM). You can also check if products have been authorized for sale by searching Health Canada’s Drug Product Database and Licensed Natural Health Product Database.

See a full list of the recalled products HERE.

The following prescription drugs were found in the unauthorized health products: 

Sildenafil is a prescription drug used to treat erectile dysfunction and should be used only under the supervision of a health care professional. It should not be used by individuals taking any kind of nitrate drug (e.g., nitroglycerine) as it can cause potentially life-threatening low blood pressure. Individuals with heart problems are at increased risk of cardiovascular side effects such as heart attack, stroke, chest pain, high blood pressure and abnormal heartbeat. Other possible side effects include headache, facial flushing, indigestion, dizziness, abnormal vision, and hearing loss. Hydroxythiohomosildenafil and thiodimethylsildenafil are unauthorized substances that are similar to sildenafil and may pose similar health risks.

Tadalafil is a prescription drug used to treat erectile dysfunction and should be used only under the supervision of a health care professional. It should not be used by individuals taking any kind of nitrate drug (e.g., nitroglycerine) since it can cause potentially life-threatening low blood pressure. Individuals with heart problems are at increased risk of cardiovascular side effects such as heart attack, stroke, chest pain, high blood pressure and abnormal heartbeat. Other possible side effects include headache, facial flushing, indigestion, dizziness, abnormal vision, and hearing loss. Aminotadalafil is an unauthorized substance that is similar to tadalafil and may pose similar health risks.

Yohimbine is a prescription drug and should be used only under the supervision of a health care professional. Yohimbine is derived from yohimbe, a bark extract. The use of yohimbine or yohimbe may result in serious adverse reactions particularly in people with high blood pressure, or heart, kidney or liver disease. Side effects include increased blood pressure and heart rate, anxiety, dizziness, tremors, headache, nausea and sleep disorders. It should not be used by children, or pregnant or nursing women.

Health Canada has a full list of the products on its website, as well as the stores where the products were seized from. While they are all located in Toronto, it is possible that the products could show up in other provinces. As a result, Canadians are encouraged to check back regularly for updates. 

Report these or any unauthorized health products to Health Canada.

 

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