Health Canada is warning people who bought unauthorized products from amazon.ca labelled to contain the prescription drugs tryptophan or lithium to be aware of serious health risks.
L‑tryptophan is prescribed in combination with antidepressants for patients with depressive disorders. Lithium is approved to treat manic episodes of manic-depressive illness.
Health Canada said Wednesday that multiple unauthorized products labelled to contain L-tryptophan at doses higher than the approved prescription strength of 220 milligrams per day and lithium orotate were sold online.
Amazon has removed these products from its website as requested by the regulator.
Both medications should only be used only under the supervision of a health care professional.
“Individuals taking these products should consult with their health care professional to receive advice on safely discontinuing use of these products, and on appropriate treatment for their medical condition,” Health Canada said in its advisory.
Health Canada assesses drugs for safety, effectiveness and quality before approval of sale, including internet sales.
The regulator advises people to buy prescription drugs only from licensed pharmacies.
“Consumers who take a prescription drug without being examined and monitored by a health care professional may not receive appropriate treatment. They may also put themselves at risk for harmful drug interactions and dangerous side-effects,” Health Canada says.