Health Canada seized unauthorized health products, including 6 prescription skin products that may pose serious health risks from Excel Beauty Supply in the Albion Centre, Etobicoke, Ontario

Starting date:
December 27, 2019
Posting date:
December 27, 2019
Type of communication:
Advisory
Subcategory:
Drugs
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Issue:
Unauthorized products
Audience:
General Public
Identification number:
RA-71967

Last updated:

Issue

OTTAWA - Health Canada is advising Canadians that it seized numerous unauthorized health products, including six prescription skin products that may pose serious health risks such as skin deterioration, low or high blood pressure, blisters or scarring from Excel Beauty Supply, located in the Albion Centre (1530 Albion Road), Etobicoke, Ontario. The skin products are creams and gels promoted for various uses including skin whitening, fading discolouration and removal of spots.

According to the product labels, the six skin products contain prescription drugs. Prescription drugs should be taken only under the advice and supervision of a healthcare professional because they are used to treat specific conditions and may cause serious side effects.

Selling unauthorized health products in Canada is illegal. Health products that have not been authorized by Health Canada have not been assessed for safety, effectiveness and quality, and may pose serious health risks. For example, unauthorized health products may be contaminated, may contain dangerous ingredients not listed on the label, or may not contain the ingredients shown on the label.

What you should do

  • Stop using these products. Consult your healthcare professional if you have used any of these products and have health concerns.
  • 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 any health product-related adverse reactions or complaints to Health Canada.

Who is affected

Consumers who have bought or are using the affected products.

Affected products

Photo Product Prescription drug listed on product label
Naturel Cream Aloe Vera H20 Jours Naturel Cream Aloe Vera Clobetasol propionate 0.05%
Papaya Cream H20 Jours Naturel Papaya Cream Clobetasol propionate 0.05%
Nadinola Nadinola Extra Strength Formula Skin Discolouration Fade Cream Hydroquinone 3%
Neoprosone Neoprosone-Gel Forte Betamethasone dipropionate 0.05%
Visible Difference Cream Visible Difference Cream Spots Remover Clobetasol propionate 0.05%
White Express Fast Action Cream White Express Fast Action Cream Advanced Formula Clobetasol propionate 0.05%
Clotrimazole 1%

Background

Betamethasone dipropionate is a highly potent corticosteroid prescription drug that can be used topically (i.e., applied to the skin) to treat inflammatory skin conditions. Side effects from topical use include skin irritation and, with prolonged use, skin weakening or deterioration. Topical corticosteroids can be absorbed in sufficient amounts to produce adverse effects, including symptoms of adrenal suppression (i.e., low blood pressure, low blood sugar, weight loss, muscle pain, gastrointestinal problems and severe fatigue) or Cushing's syndrome (i.e., high blood pressure, high blood sugar, weight gain, muscle weakness, bone loss and severe fatigue) depending on how much has been absorbed. Betamethasone dipropionate should not be used by pregnant or nursing women.

Clobetasol propionate is a highly potent topical (i.e., applied to the skin) corticosteroid prescription drug used to treat inflammatory skin conditions. It should not be used by people who are allergic to it. Side effects include skin irritation, weakening or deterioration. Topical corticosteroids can be absorbed in sufficient amounts to produce adverse effects, including symptoms of adrenal suppression (i.e., low blood pressure, low blood sugar, weight loss, muscle pain, gastrointestinal problems and severe fatigue) or Cushing's syndrome (i.e., high blood pressure, high blood sugar, weight gain, muscle weakness, bone loss and severe fatigue) depending on how much has been absorbed. Clobetasol should not be used by pregnant or nursing women.

Clotrimazole is a non-prescription drug when applied to the skin or vaginally, and a prescription drug for all other uses. It is used to treat fungal (yeast) infections. Side effects include nausea, abdominal pain, rashes (e.g., swelling or redness) and allergic reactions (e.g., low blood pressure or hives). It should not be used by patients who are allergic to clotrimazole. It can interact with tacrolimus and sirolimus drugs.

Hydroquinone for topical use at concentrations above 2% is a prescription drug used to lighten areas of darkened skin caused by different conditions (e.g., sun exposure, skin damage, pregnancy, medications or age). It should not be used by people who are allergic to hydroquinone or who are taking medicines that make their skin more sensitive to light. Hydroquinone is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, or children. It should be used with caution in those who have previously had cancer. Side effects include skin reactions such as redness, dryness, cracked skin, burning, stinging, peeling, itching, increased sensitivity to sunlight, sunburn, blisters and scarring. It may cause skin discolouration (i.e., blue or black discolouration or white patches or spots) that, in some cases, can be disfiguring. In laboratory animals, it has been associated with cancer after long-term exposure. As of June 30, 2019, products containing hydroquinone greater than 2% for topical use require a prescription from a healthcare practitioner to be sold in Canada. As part of this transition, several products exceeding 2% hydroquinone that were previously sold over the counter have been recalled in Canada.

Media enquiries

Health Canada
613-957-2983
hc.media.sc@canada.ca

Public enquiries

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

What Health Canada is doing

Health Canada seized the affected products and directed the retail store to stop selling unauthorized health products. Should additional safety concerns be identified, Health Canada will take appropriate action and inform Canadians as necessary.

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