Health Canada warns of unauthorized injectable drugs sold online by Canlab Research

Health Canada warns of unauthorized injectable drugs sold online by Canlab Research

Health Canada is warning people not to buy unauthorized injectable drugs sold online by Canlab Research.

The advisory said the products “may pose serious health risks.”

The injectable products are promoted as peptides and are sold online through Canlab Research websites, including www.canlabresearch.com and www.canlab.net. The sites list a Laval, Que.-based address. 

Peptides, chains of amino acids to build proteins, carry out a range of important functions in the body.

Some peptides can also be produced for use in medications.

The regulator said it ordered Canlab Research to stop advertising and selling unauthorized health products that haven’t been assessed for safety, efficacy and quality, such as containing high-risk ingredients, additives not listed on the label or risks such as potential for infection and allergic reactions.

“Examples of injectable prescription drugs available for sale on Canlab Research websites include oxytocin and triptorelin,” Health Canada said.

The regulator described triptorelin as a prescription peptide drug used to treat prostate cancer, reduce pain associated with endometriosis, and control the timing of ovulation in fertility treatments. It is given to patients by injection, which should only be done under the supervision of a health-care professional. It shouldn’t be used while pregnant or nursing because it changes hormone levels in ways that can harm the fetus.

Some internet sites describe  triptorelin and oxytocin as useful in bodybuilding. In 2010, an endocrinology case report  outlined harms in one patient who purchased triptorelin online.

For patients, side-effects can include increased risk of serious cardiovascular issues such as heart attack and stroke, as well as life-threatening anaphylactic reactions with symptoms like difficulty breathing. Long-term, Health Canada said the medication reduces bone mineral density and increases the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures as well as other adverse effects.

Oxytocin is a prescription peptide drug used to help start or continue labour and to control bleeding after delivery. Health-care providers may also use it for other conditions. In labour and delivery wards, oxytocin is given intravenously under medical supervision and not for people with certain conditions. The person receiving the treatment can experience side-effects including allergic reactions with symptoms like difficulty breathing. The baby’s heart rate may slow in cases of overdose. 

Health Canada recommends people consult a health-care professional if you have used any of these products and have health concerns. It also suggested buying prescription drugs only from licensed pharmacies.

The regulator is also suggesting people avoid buying health products from questionable or untrustworthy websites and verify health products have been authorized for sale by Health Canada by looking for its eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN), Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Drug Number or checking its databases for pharmaceuticals and natural health products

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