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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 August 2005, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Risk warning over herbal medicine
Karela capsules
The medicines treat a range of conditions from indigestion to skin disease
Potentially dangerous herbal medicines could be on sale in Britain, the drugs regulator says.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency warned consumers not to buy a range of unlicensed products it suspects has reached the UK market.

The medicines - which claim to treat a range of problems from skin disease to indigestion - were found on sale in Canada containing heavy metals.

The MHRA warned they could cause nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Officials from the regulator are surveying retailers to see if they are on sale.

Roy Alder, a director at the MHRA, said: "Medicinal products containing high levels of heavy metals pose a serious public health risk.

"Many of the products we suspect to have entered the UK may contain mercury, arsenic and lead.


"These metals can cause severe nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Other serious problems such as kidney damage, convulsions and coma have also been reported."

Individuals who believe they may have taken any of the products should discontinue use and consult their pharmacist or doctor.

These are the products, and their manufacturers, that the MHRA is warning consumers not to take:

  • Karela tablets (Shriji Herbal Products, India)

  • Karela capsules (Himalaya Drug Co, India, and Charantia, UK)

  • Yograj Guggul tablets (Zandu Pharmaceuticals, India)

  • Sudarshan tablets (Zandu Pharmaceuticals, India)

  • Shilajit capsules (Dabur India Ltd, India)

  • SAFI Liquid (Hamdard-WAKF-Pakistan and Hamdard-WAKF-India)

  • Maha Sudarshan Churna Powder (Zandu Pharmaceuticals, India, D&K Pharmacy, Chhatrishha, Dabur India Ltd - all India)

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