Swissmedic is issuing a warning regarding the slimming product HAVYCO-Vy&Tea.
This product is being offered for sale on the internet and in various social media as a purely herbal tea from Vietnam to bring about weight loss. A number of female Swiss consumers have suffered severe side effects after using the product. One of these users handed a sample in at a pharmacy; additional samples were acquired from other sources and were analysed by the pharmaceutical control laboratory of the Bern Cantonal Pharmacist's Office.
The analysis revealed that – contrary to the declaration on the packaging and to what is claimed in the internet – this is not a purely herbal tea.
Instead, the teabags contained the banned, undeclared synthetic pharmaceutical substance sibutramine. Authorisation of medicinal products containing sibutramine was suspended in March 2010 owing to the risk of severe side effects.
One sample additionally contained the active substance phenolphthalein. This is a controversial laxative which is no longer frequently used, can also cause various side effects and is not suitable for sustainable weight loss.
Swissmedic cautions the public against buying any medicinal products or so-called nutritional supplements from unknown sources on the internet or via social media.