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NAFDAC Issues Warning on Life-Threatening Pharmaceutical Products

AdvertisementThe National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says that it has been notified that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a fresh warning to consumers about the significant dangers of ‘Miracle Mineral Solution’ (MMS).

Similarly, the agency said that it was also notified of a study that show that the vast majority of in-use make-up products such as beauty blenders, mascara and lip gloss are contaminated with potentially life-threatening superbugs.

In two separate alerts number 001/2020 and 002/2020 issued by the agency and posted on its website mid-February, they explained that the warnings came due to a recent rise in reported health issues of serious and potential life-threatening effects following the use of the products. The products are on sale as a cure-all and are widely available on the internet. “Miracle Mineral Solution is described as a liquid that is 28 per cent sodium chlorite in distilled water. Product directions instruct people to mix the sodium chlorite solution with a citric acid, such as lemon or lime juice, or another acid before drinking. The mixture becomes chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleaching agent. Both sodium chlorite and chlorine dioxide are the active ingredients in disinfectants and have additional industrial uses. They are not meant to be swallowed by people,” the statement said.

The products according to the statement are known by various names, including Miracle or Master Mineral Solution, Miracle Mineral Supplement, MMS, Chlorine Dioxide (CD) Protocol, and Water Purification Solution (WPS). NAFDAC said that although the products have not been approved by the FDA, as the safety or effectiveness for treating any illness have not been proven, promoters and some distributors are making false and dangerous claims that Miracle Mineral Supplement mixed with citric acid is an antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibacterial liquid that is a remedy for autism, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, flu, and other conditions. “Reports have shown potential side effects to include severe vomiting and diarrhoea, life threatening hypotension (low blood pressure), and liver failure. Meanwhile, some MMS labels claim that vomiting and diarrhoea are positive signs that the mixture is working to heal people’s ailments,” the agency said.
NAFDAC implores importers, distributors, retailers and consumers to immediately stop the importation, distribution, sale and consumption of ‘Miracle Mineral Solution’.

Members of the public in possession of the affected products are implored to discontinue sale or use and submit stock to the nearest NAFDAC office.
On the make-up products, NAFDAC said that the Researchers (Dr. A Bashir and Prof. P Lambert, 9 October 2019) of Aston University have warned that make-up products used every day by millions of people are contaminated with potentially deadly bugs, such as E.coli and Staphylococci, because most are not being cleaned and are used far beyond their expiry dates. According to the study published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, bacteria that can cause illnesses ranging from skin infections to blood poisoning if used near eyes, mouth or cuts or grazes were found in nine out of ten of the products.

This risk is amplified in immunocompromised people who are more likely to contract infections from opportunistic bacteria. The relatively new beauty blenders – sponges used to apply skin foundation products – were found to have the highest levels of potentially harmful bacteria – with the vast majority (93 per cent) not having ever been cleaned, despite more than two thirds (64 per cent) being dropped on the floor at some point during use. The research looked at beauty blender products – hugely popular make-up sponges used to blend foundation and contouring on the face. These products were found to be particularly susceptible to contamination as they are often left damp after use, which creates an ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

The findings reveal that consumers poor hygiene practices when it comes to using make-up, especially beauty blenders, is very worrying considering that bacteria such as E.coli – which is linked with faecal contamination were found breeding on the products tested. NAFDAC implores manufacturers to do more to protect their customers by making expiry dates and cleaning requirements more prominent on packaging. Likewise, consumers are admonished to clean their make-up tools intermittently.

Healthcare professionals and consumers are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of this product to the nearest NAFDAC office, NAFDAC PRASCOR (20543 TOLL FREE from all networks), via pharmacovigilance@nafdac.gov.ng or via the NAFDAC ADR e-Reporting platform available at www.nafdac.gov.ng

By Chigbu Nwaobia

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