Canadian authorities issue a recall for Pollen Allergy now called Tongqiao Biyan Pian

All herbal safety warnings and alerts

29 November 2012

The Canadian authorities have issued a recall for Pollen Allergy now called Tongqiao Biyan Pian

Product name

Pollen Allergy now called Tongqiao Biyan Pian

Product description

Pollen Allergy or Tongqiao Biyan Pian is marketed as a natural health product for the treatment of allergies. It is used for rhinitis, allergies, chronic rhinocleeisis, rhinorrhea, sneezes and coughs.

Pollen Allergy

Reason for warning

Health Canada has issued a recall from the Canadian market after testing found levels of arsenic that exceed limits allowed by Health Canada. The product was also found to contain two undeclared pharmaceutical ingredients in low amounts. It contained chlorphenamine (an antihistamine) and paracetamol (called acetaminophen in the USA and Canada). None of these ingredients are listed on the label.

Possible side effects:

For pregnant women, consumption of products with arsenic may increase the risks of pre-term birth, stillbirth or miscarriage. Children and adults who are exposed to arsenic may experience side-effects such as stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle cramping, weakness, skin rash, numbness or tingling and loss of movement.

It is vitally important that all ingredients are declared on the label to avoid the risk of possible allergic reactions in consumers with known allergies to chlorphenamine or paracetamol. In addition, consumers may have been unknowingly at risk of a paracetamol overdose if they were taking other products containing paracetamol.

Antihistamines, such as chlorphenamine, are not recommended for use in children less than six years of age.

It is unclear whether these products are available in retail outlets in the UK but could be available on the internet.

Recall notice from Health Canada concerning Pollen Allergy. (external link)

Reporting problems with herbal medicines.

Page last modified: 13 December 2012