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Posted October 9, 2013

Use of Chinese Supplement Linked to Rare But Serious Condition

On October 9, 2013, Health Canada warned consumers that Compound Danshen Dripping Pills, manufactured by Tianjin Tasly Pharmaceutical Co., have been associated with a case of methemoglobinemia, a rare but serious condition which may result in coma or death.

Symptoms of methemoglobinemia include blueness of the skin and lips, tiredness, headache, fainting, shortness of breath, palpitations, chest pain and seizures.

The pills, promoted for the treatment of coronary heart disease and angina, are manufactured in China but may be available for purchase over the internet. The case of methemoglobinemia associated with these pills occurred in Canada.

Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza), sometimes called "red sage," has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for the treatment of conditions like heart attack and stroke. This is a different species of the herb than those commonly referred to in the U.S. as sage, Salvia officinalis and Salvia lavandulaefolia, which are have been used to treat upset stomach, excessive sweating and sore throat.

To read Health Canada's warning, use the link below.