S'pore to allow sale of Chinese medicine containing berberine
From January next year, Singaporeans can buy Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) products containing berberine.
This follows the latest safety review by the Health Sciences Authority.
Berberine is a substance found naturally in some herbs which are used to treat ailments like high fever and sore throat.
Products containing berberine were banned in 1978.
This, after concerns that the substance could cause jaundice and brain damage in babies with G6PD deficiency.
That's a genetic disorder that results in the breakdown of red blood cells leading to anaemia, when the person is exposed to certain medicines or chemicals.
When the ban is lifted, consumers can buy products known as Huang Lian in Chinese.
But authorities say it should still be avoided in infants, pregnant and breast-feeding women as well as those deficient in G6PD.
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