Man warded in ICU after taking illegal capsules

Two patients have suffered serious adverse reactions from taking illegal capsules that were sold as herbal or traditional medicines to treat arthritic and joint pain, and promote blood circulation.

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said yesterday that one patient, a man in his 80s, was warded in an intensive care unit after he took the capsules for about a year.

The bones of the second patient - a man in his 40s - were affected, and he suffered a fracture that needed surgery. The cases were reported between the end of last year and the middle of this year.

The capsules, sold as Zu Chuan Bao Jian: Mai Luo Tong, contain a very potent steroid, which HSA said should be taken only under strict supervision by doctors. The capsules are either green and white or blue and white in colour.

People who have taken the capsules should consult their doctors as soon as possible, and should not stop taking the medicine on their own to avoid withdrawal symptoms, said HSA.

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