The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulation Agency (MHRA) has issued a safety warning regarding the use of Zudaifu cream.
Zudaifu is marketed and sold in the UK as a ‘natural’ Chinese herbal remedy for the treatment of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The product is an unlicensed medicine however analysis conducted by the MHRA has found that the cream contains the steroid clobetasol propionate, which is the active ingredient in prescription only medicines used for the treatment of a range of skin conditions. Creams which include steroids should only be used sparingly and under strict guidance of medical practitioners.
In a statement issued by the MHRA, Dr Chris Jones Manager of the Medicines Borderline Section, said:
“We have again identified a potentially harmful cream described as a natural Chinese herbal medicine on the market.
“Selling creams directly to the public that contain strong steroids is illegal and they are potentially dangerous if they are used without medical supervision.
“Steroids must only be prescribed by healthcare professionals who follow strict criteria when prescribing them and can monitor patients using them. They can suppress the skin’s response to infection and can also cause long-term thinning of the skin. If steroids are applied long term, particularly on children, they can lead to other medical problems.
Our advice to anyone who has bought it previously or is currently using Zudaifu cream – particularly on young children and babies – is to stop using it immediately. If you have any questions, please contact your healthcare professional.”
This recent warning from the MHRA follows a separate warning earlier this year regarding Yiganerjing Cream, another Chinese herbal medicine that contained the same steroid and antifungal ingredients.
Specialist Consumer Safety Lawyer Tina Patel welcomed the statement from the MHRA and said:
“It is deeply alarming that such products are being marketed and sold in the UK under the guise of being natural products. Any cream containing steroids should only be available through prescription as the consequences of an individual self-administering these creams without proper medical guidance can be serious.
“I would urge anyone who is currently using this product to cease doing so immediately and seek urgent medical advice. If anyone becomes aware of this product or any other similar products being sold they should report it immediately to the MHRA.”