EU regulators warn against illegal, adulterated products

Beline CapsulesRegulators in Europe are warning the public not to buy a product sold as a dietary supplement for arthritis because analyses show it is adulterated with a range of pharmaceutical ingredients.

Beline Capsules are sold on the Internet as a herbal supplement, but in reality contain the active pharmaceutical ingredients chlorphenamine, oxetacaine, piroxicam and betamethasone.according to medicines control authorities in Denmark, Ireland and the UK.

The active substances are respectively an anti-histamine, local anaesthetic, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and a corticosteroid, and are not declared on the package, say the regulators.

"The substances were found in doses that are comparable to the normal dose of authorised medicines containing these active substances," said the Danish Medicines Agency in a statement.

"Treatment with the above-mentioned substances should only be started upon consultation with a doctor," it adds.

"We urge everyone to exercise extreme caution when buying products on the internet that claim to be harmless and to be natural herbal products, as we have experienced that many of these types of products contain undeclared prescription-only active substances," notes the agency.

The DMA has also warned consumers not to buy products from two websites - and, which are selling a number of illegal and potentially dangerous dietary supplements, unauthorised drugs and doping agents.

A number of the products contain plant ingredients that may cause various undesired effects on the liver, the hormone system, transmitter substances in the brain, reproduction and fertility as well as on the central nervous system, it says.

A list of the potentially-harmful products can be viewed here.

Illegal tanning agent

Meanwhile, the DMA has reiterated warnings to the public about an illegal tanning product called Melanotan which is sold online but is not registered in the Danish market.

Websites sell it amid claims that it offers protection against the harmful rays of the sun and prevents skin cancer. The product is potentially hazardous; not only is it not authorised in Denmark, Europe or the USA - but it is also injected under the skin.

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