Injectable products and unauthorized prescription drugs seized from Total Health Centre in Williams Lake, B.C.; products were being administered and sold by an individual posing as a naturopathic doctor

Starting date:
March 2, 2018
Type of communication:
Advisory
Subcategory:
Drugs
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Identification number:
RA-66100

Issue

Health Canada is advising Canadians that several injectable products and unauthorized prescription drugs were seized from Total Health Centre (177 Yorston St.) in Williams Lake, B.C., because they may pose serious health risks.

The products include unauthorized progesterone creams, thyroid and L-dopa (also known as levodopa) capsules and high-dose vitamin D products. The labels of these products indicate that they contain ingredients that require a prescription to be sold in Canada. Unauthorized health products have not been approved by Health Canada, which means that they have not been assessed for safety, effectiveness and quality. Selling unauthorized health products in Canada is illegal.

The seized products also include various injectable drug products. Some of the products were labelled "for physician use only".

Neither the owner nor anyone who works at Total Health Centre is currently licensed to practice medicine as a medical or naturopathic doctor.

Who is affected

  • Consumers who have bought or used any of these products
  • Consumers who have received any injections at Total Health Centre located at 177 Yorston St. in Williams Lake, B.C.

Affected products

Several products were seized from Total Health Centre which include the following products that consumers may have purchased:

Affected products
Products Labelled to contain
Source Naturals Natural Progesterone Cream (4 oz jar, 4 oz tube and 2 oz tube) Progesterone
Now Solutions Natural Progesterone Cream Progesterone
Life Enhancement ThyroPlex for Women Thyroid
Mucuna Pruriens Mood Support 15% L-dopa L-Dopa
Doctor's Best Vitamin D3 5000 IU Vitamin D3 (5000 IU)
Now High Potency Vitamin D-3 2000 IU Vitamin D3 (2000 IU)

What consumers should do

  • Do not use these products. Consult with a licensed health care professional if you have used any of these products or if you have received treatment from Total Health Centre and have health concerns.

  • Verify people representing themselves as medical doctors by checking their status with the College of Physicians and Surgeons in your province or territory.

  • Verify people representing themselves as naturopathic doctors by checking their status with the College of Naturopathic Physicians in your province or territory, where one exists.

  • Report concerns regarding the illegal practice of medicine to the College of Physicians and Surgeons and/or the College of Naturopathic Physicians in your province or territory, as applicable.

  • Read product labels to verify that health products have been authorized for sale by Health Canada. Authorized health products have an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN), Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Drug Number (DIN-HM). You can also check whether products have been authorized for sale by searching Health Canada's Drug Product Database and Licensed Natural Health Product Database.

  • Report adverse events to health products to Health Canada by calling toll-free at 1-866-234-2345, or by reporting online, by mail or by fax.

  • Report complaints about health products to Health Canada by calling toll-free at 1-800-267-9675, or complete an online complaint form.

What Health Canada is doing

Health Canada was informed of this issue by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia (CPSBC). Health Canada seized the injectable products and unauthorized prescription drugs from Total Health Centre.

Health Canada has informed the CPSBC and the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia (CNPBC) of the actions it has taken. The practice of medicine and naturopathy is regulated by the provinces and territories. Health Canada is in contact with the applicable B.C. professional colleges. The B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons has advised Health Canada that it continues to investigate.

Health Canada is working with Canada Border Services Agency to help prevent the future importation of these products.

Background

CPSBC and CNPBC have confirmed that, based on a review of their records, there are no registrants currently licensed to practice medicine or naturopathic medicine at Total Health Centre in Williams Lake, B.C.

L-Dopa, also known as levodopa, is a prescription drug that is combined with other drug ingredients in anti-Parkinson's medications. It should be used only under the supervision of a health care professional. Levodopa may interact with drugs prescribed for high blood pressure, and should not be used by women who are pregnant, who plan to become pregnant or who are breastfeeding. It should also not be taken by people with narrow angle glaucoma; untreated heart, liver, kidney, lung or hormonal diseases; a history of melanoma; those who have been treated recently with certain monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor drugs, or those who should not take drugs such as isoproterenol, amphetamines or epinephrine. Side effects requiring medical attention include: uncontrollable movements of the face, eyelids, mouth, tongue, neck, arms, hands, or legs; severe or persistent nausea or vomiting; an irregular heartbeat or fluttering in the chest; feeling lightheaded when standing quickly; or unusual changes in mood or behaviour.

Progesterone is a prescription drug and can be associated with serious side effects, particularly in patients at risk of blood clots. Patients who are taking progesterone-containing medications (such as birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy) may be at an increased risk due to their overall progesterone exposure. However, if this unauthorized product contains progesterone cream as labelled, health risks would likely arise after long term use.

Thyroid is a prescription drug commonly used to treat decreased or absent thyroid function, called hypothyroidism. Products containing thyroid hormone should be used with caution in patients who are also using medication to treat diabetes and blood clotting. There is also a risk to patients with cardiac conditions such as angina pectoris, high blood pressure and in the elderly, because they have a greater likelihood of heart conditions.

Vitamin D is a prescription drug when the product is taken by mouth and has a recommended daily dose that is more than 1,000 International Units (IU). Excessive levels of vitamin D can lead to vitamin D "intoxication," which can cause headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, lack of appetite, irritability, dehydration, fatigue and weight loss. Pregnant women in particular should not take vitamin D exceeding the daily tolerable upper intake level for adults (4000 IU).

Stay connected with Health Canada and receive the latest advisories and product recalls.

Media Enquiries

Health Canada
613-957-2983

Public Enquiries

613-957-2991
1-866-225-0709

Images

Select thumbnail to enlarge - opens in a new window