Pharmacists warn of potentially dangerous supplement circulating | DrumhellerMail
Last updateThu, 18 Jul 2024 8am

Pharmacists warn of potentially dangerous supplement circulating

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A local pharmacist is warning the public to be wary when ordering drugs or natural health products online after witnessing the damage they can do.
Ray Ainscough of Riverside Value Drug Mart and pharmacy student Nicholas Poole tell the Mail there have been patrons ordering a supplement called Umary online. It is widely available on Amazon, Walmart and other retailers. The Mexican manufactured substance purports to be a natural health supplement.
“They are using it for pain, basically. It is reported to be a natural health product to reduce your pain tolerance and provides pain relief. On the ingredients, it has a bunch of natural health products listed however, there have been some tests done, such as by Test Your Drugs in B.C. and they have found the tablets may contain high doses of diclofenac,” said Poole.
He explains this is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. This kind of drug goes through your kidneys to be excreted.
“They reported up to 700 milligrams of diclofenac, which typically has a maximum dose of 100 milligrams,” he said. “It may cause a lot of adverse side effects like decreased kidney function, cardiovascular events and increased risk of bleeding.”
Ainscough said a patient came into the pharmacy and said they had seen some effects on their kidney levels, and did some research. The pharmacy also did some research and saw this had been reported.
“We have had about four patients now who are using it and have had adverse effects from it,” said Poole.
He explains that when a product is advertised as a natural health supplement it has fewer restrictions and guidelines to follow. This product does not list diclofenac as an ingredient.
“Immediately discontinue using it, bring any bottles you have to the pharmacy so they can dispose of it properly and then you can follow up with your pharmacy or your family physician just to make sure nothing has gone wrong with your body because of taking it,” said Poole.
Milkumar Patel of Shoppers Drug Mart in Drumheller tells the Mail, he had one patient asking about Umary a couple of months ago but has not heard from them since.
He does recommend that people be wary when exploring natural health supplements, and approach them with a critical mindset. Be skeptical of miracle claims. It is always important to consult with healthcare professionals and do your research, looking into quality and safety. He notes to be aware of possible interactions with other medications and start with low doses. It is very important to consider the sources, especially when buying online.
Ainscough says it is rare for them to see these kinds of products slip through.
“But when there is a third person in a week, and two of the three have had medical emergencies, it scares the heck out of me.”

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