These alerts have been compiled from safety warnings or product withdrawals issued by drug regulatory agencies in various countries including UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and US. They are a quick reference source particularly for products with confirmed pharmaceutical adulteration. After a product alert/withdrawal, some products may be reformulated to remove the toxic constituent or adulterant. However the product/formula name is not always changed when the herbal medicine is returned to the market and it may be difficult to differentiate between the old and new versions of the product. Areas of greatest safety concern are products for body building, slimming and erectile dysfunction and such products should always be used with caution.
This information is only taken from warnings from a few regulatory agencies, and as such is not comprehensive. Absence of a product from the lists does not indicate that it is free from adulteration, contaminants or that is it safe.
The 'Safety update glossary' provides brief information on the potential adverse effects or toxicity of the pharmaceutical adulterants or ingredients of concern.