BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Ministry of Health (MoH) on Friday issued a health alert after two women were hospitalised following serious adverse reactions from consuming Dexteem Plus.

The women, aged 25 and 80, purchased the tablets from two different shops in Gadong and Sengkurong to treat work-related dermatitis, an inflammatory skin condition.

Dexteem Plus contains a potent steroid with 0.5mg of dexamethasone and 2mg of the antihistamine dexchlorpheniramine maleate.

“Dexteem Plus is not registered in Brunei and MoH never issued any approval for its importation and sale,” the ministry said in statement.

MoH said the 25yearold woman consumed Dexteem Plus for seven months and was hospitalised after presenting symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, frequent urination with terminal burning sensation, dry throat, weakness, high blood pressure and elevated blood glucose.

She was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes melittus and Cushing Syndrome, a condition caused by long-term consumption of steroids.

In the second case, the elderly woman had consumed the tablets for four months and was subsequently diagnosed with low morning cortisol, related to adrenal suppression, a condition in which the adrenal glands do not produce adequate amounts of steroid hormones.

She was admitted to hospital with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and giddiness, and was found to have high sodium levels.

The ministry said those who have purchased and consumed Dexteem Plus are advised to consult their doctor to manage their symptoms and medical condition.

“Selling and supplying Dexteem Plus, including online retail is an offence,” MoH stressed.

Under Brunei law, to sell, supply or import any unregistered product without a license is punishable by two years’ jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

MoH is seeking the public‘s cooperation to report any information on the illegal sale and supply of Dexteem Plus in Brunei. Information can be relayed to the Compliance and Licensing Section at 2393298 ext 208,, or by going directly to the 1st floor of the Department of Pharmaceutical Services Building, Kg Madaras, Mukim Gadong A.