The Food and Drug Administration is advising consumers not to purchase or use “Ginseng Kianpi Pil,” a product promoted to stimulate appetite, promote weight gain and relieve fatigue, because it contains an undeclared corticosteroid and an antihistamine. “Ginseng Kianpi Pil” is manufactured by Kweilin Drug Manufactory, and sold in retail stores and on various websites, including www.ginsengkianpipil.com.
FDA laboratory analysis found that “Ginseng Kianpi Pil” contains dexamethasone, a corticosteroid commonly used to treat inflammatory conditions, and cyproheptadine, a prescription antihistamine used for seasonal allergy treatment.
Consumers are advised that corticosteroid use can impair a person’s ability to fight infections, cause high blood sugar levels, muscle injuries and psychiatric problems. When corticosteroids are taken for a prolonged period, or at high doses, they can suppress the adrenal gland and cause withdrawal symptoms with abrupt discontinuation.
Antihistamines may cause drowsiness and affect mental alertness.
In addition, these undeclared drug ingredients in “Ginseng Kianpi Pil” may cause serious side effects when combined with other medications.
Consumers taking “Ginseng Kianpi Pil” are urged to immediately consult with their health care professional to safely discontinue use of this product. The risk of withdrawal from corticosteroids should be assessed by a health care professional. Only licensed health care professionals can evaluate patients for the risk, or confirm the existence, of adrenal suppression.
To date, FDA is not aware of any reports of adverse events related to this product.
FDA encourages health care professionals and consumers to report any adverse events or side effects associated with the use of this product to FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:
- Complete and submit the report online at MedWatch Online Voluntary Reporting Form
- Download and complete the form, then submit it via fax at 1-800-FDA-0178