Qatar warns against use of ‘weight reduction’ tea

June 26, 2011

Qatar’s Supreme Council for Health (SCH) has warned against the use of Dr Ming’s Herbal Tea, produced by Chinese Angel Export and Import Company Ltd and used for slimming and weight reduction.

SCH’s Pharmacy and Medicine monitoring department said that the product contained the chemical element Sibutramine, an appetite suppressant found in weight-loss drug Reductil, which is banned all over the world on the grounds it can cause cardiovascular problems and strokes, Qatari daily Gulf Times reported on Sunday.

The SCH said that the element has been included in the herbal tea product without its mention in the provided leaflet and that marketing the product in such a manner amounted to fraud and forgery.

The daily said that it conducted a brief survey of local supermarkets and pharmacies and discovered that this particular product was not widely available.

However, it cautioned that it might still be in stores as the SCH warning had not reached all the retailers.

Reductil, Meridia and Sibutrex, which contain Sibutramine, were banned by the SCH several months ago and are no longer available in Qatar.

For people who consume Sibutramine, the frequently encountered side effects include dry mouth, increased appetite, nausea, strange taste in the mouth, upset stomach, constipation, trouble in sleeping, dizziness, drowsiness, menstrual cramps/pain, headache, flushing, or joint/muscle pain. Sibutramine can substantially increase blood pressure and pulse in some patients.

Symptoms that require urgent medical attention are seizures, problems in urinating, abnormal bruising or bleeding, melena, haematemesis, jaundice, fever and rigors, chest pain, hemiplegia, abnormal vision, dyspnea and edema.

Sibutramine is structurally related to amphetamines.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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