Safety warning on herbal arthritis remedy
A HERBAL remedy used to relieve arthritis pain has been deemed unsafe by the Irish Medicines Board.
Beline Capsules have "been found to be adulterated with medicines, including prescription-only substances" says the Board, making them illegal in this country.
The dark green capsules, sold in a brown or green box with white text, are being sold via the internet and are promoted as a herbal food supplement that can relieve pain and other symptoms related to arthritis.
The IMB has issued the warning to the public along with all retailers of herbal medicines and healthcare professionals.
It says tests on the capsules showed they contained an anti-histamine which is only available in pharmacies, and an anti-inflammatory and local anaesthetic which are only available on prescription.
The anti-histamine -- chlorphenamine -- can cause a range of side effects from drowsiness to nausea, vomiting, chest congestion and vision problems.
The anti-inflammatory -- piroxicam -- can cause stomach pain, serious gastrointestinal bleeding and liver toxicity.
The side effects of the local anaesthetic -- oxetacaine -- include nausea, dry mouth, headaches and drowsiness.
The Board has asked any retailers who have the capsules to "immediately quarantine the stock and notify the Market Compliance Section of the IMB".
Anyone who has been using Beline Capsules is advised to dispose of them, and contact their pharmacist or doctor, even if they are no longer taking the product.