Tue, May 01, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Ministry warns about herbal remedies

PRESCRIPTION:A veteran actor suffered kidney failure, became comatose and was hospitalized for 45 days after drinking a folk remedy recommended by a friend

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) on Sunday urged the public not to take herbal remedies without prescription from a licensed physician.

The call follows an incident in which 86-year-old actor Chen Ping-nan (陳炳楠) suffered kidney failure and became comatose after drinking a folk remedy recommended by a friend. Chen, better known by his stage name Tuo-hsien (脫線), was hospitalized for 45 days.

Chen had followed his friend’s recommendation about a herbal remedy and began drinking it frequently in early March.

Chen said he began feeling sleepy and fatigued, but dismissed them as symptoms of a mild cold.

On March 12, he lost consciousness and was rushed to a hospital’s emergency room, where he was found to have acute kidney failure, liver infection and decreased cardiac function.

The comedian, who has been released from hospital, on Saturday posted photographs on Facebook from his time in the hospital and thanked his family and doctors.

“I was in critical condition at the time, had a severe cough due to liver infection and had to have continuous injections of antibiotics. [I also had] a stent implantation due to cardiovascular obstruction and difficulty breathing, and underwent dialysis due to kidney failure,” he wrote.

His condition was so critical that the hospital had told his family “to prepare for the worst,” he wrote.

Chen added that he not only felt physical pain, but also heavy mental stress during his hospitalization, but that he was grateful that the medical team did not give up and often encouraged him, and that his wife of more than 60 years had accompanied him throughout the process.

In light of the incident, the ministry’s Department of Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy on Sunday issued a press release, telling people to be cautious about taking herbal remedies, because they often have complicated ingredients and could cause health damage.

Studies have shown that long-term intake of aristolochic acids, found in certain plants commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine, can increase risks of kidney damage, the department said, adding that the ministry in 2003 banned five types of plants that contain aristolochic acids.

The ministry urged people to seek medical advice from licensed physicians, purchase herbal medicine from licensed dealers and not take medications with exaggerated advertising claims or without required government approval.

This story has been viewed 1398 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top