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Archive - Health Canada warns consumers not to use human growth hormone drug called GHR-15

Starting date:
June 7, 2005
Posting date:
June 7, 2005
Type of communication:
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Product Safety
General Public
Identification number:

Health Canada is warning consumers not to use GHR-15, which is sometimes labelled as GHR, due to risks associated with unsubstantiated health claims, hyperthyroidism, and possible interactions and allergic reactions. This product is not authorized for sale in Canada.

GHR-15, which is available through the Internet in capsule and powder form, is promoted by BIE Health Products (Canada) as a human growth hormone (HGH) supplement. The company suggests it can cure or help prevent a variety of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and multiple sclerosis. Human growth hormone therapy has not been proven to be effective via oral treatments, therefore people taking GHR-15 are not likely to experience any therapeutic benefits. Health Canada cautions against the self-diagnosis or self-treatment of serious diseases and advises Canadians that GHR-15 is not approved as a treatment for any of these diseases.

GHR-15 can also cause hyperthyroidism, which can lead to increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, excessive sweating, hand tremors, nervousness and anxiety, difficulty sleeping, weight loss despite increased appetite, increased activity level despite fatigue and weakness, and frequent bowel movements, occasionally with diarrhea.

The product contains, among other ingredients, several amino acids as well as anterior pituitary and hypothalamic extracts. Based on these ingredients, users of this product could also experience drug or hormone interactions and/or allergic reactions.

To date, there have been no adverse reactions reported to Health Canada regarding this drug. However, Health Canada has received numerous complaints about the claims made for this product. Consumers who have concerns about using GHR-15 should consult with a physician to determine an appropriate alternate therapy for their medical conditions.

In order not to contaminate ground water or municipal water systems, consumers are advised not to dispose of unused GHR-15 by flushing it down a toilet or pouring it down a sink. Any unused product should be returned to the supplier. Health Canada has issued a Customs Alert to the Canada Border Services Agency preventing further importation of this product.

Before being authorized for sale in Canada, a manufacturer must provide Health Canada with scientific evidence that a drug is both safe and effective in meeting its stated health claims, and that it is of high quality. Consumers are encouraged to use drug products that have been reviewed and authorized for sale by Health Canada. That such an authorization has been granted can be determined by the presence of an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN), Natural Product Number (NPN), or a DIN-Homeopathic Number (DIN-HM). These numbers can be found on the labels of authorized products.

Consumers and health care professionals are urged to report adverse reactions to Health Canada by toll-free telephone at 1-866-234-2345 or by toll-free facsimile at 1-866-678-6789. Consumers may inform Health Canada if they have purchased this product by contac ting the nearest Health Canada Inspectorate Operational Centre.

Regional Operational Centres

British Columbia, Alberta, Northwest Territories, Yukon
Operational Manager
3155 Willingdon Green
Burnaby, British Columbia V5G 4P2
Telephone: 604-666-3350
Facsimile: 604-666-3149

Manitoba, Saskatchewan
Operational Manager
510 Lagimodiere Blvd
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2J 3Y1
Telephone: 204-983-5490
Facsimile: 204-984-2155

Ontario, Nunavut
Operational Manager
2301 Midland Ave.
Toronto, Ontario M1P 4R7
Telephone: 416-973-1600
Facsimile: 416-954-4583

Operational Manager
1001 Rue St-Laurent Ouest
Longueuil, Quebec J4K 1C7
Telephone: 450-646-1353
Facsimile: 450-928-4455

Operational Manager
Suite 1625, 16th Floor
1505 Barrington Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3Y6
Telephone: 902-426-2160
Facsimile: 902-426-6676

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