Medical practitioners told not to prescribe food supplements

Kathmandu, October 22

The Department of Drug Administration, Nepal’s drug regulatory authority, has directed all medical practitioners to refrain from prescribing dietary supplements to their patients.

The department has urged stakeholders to halt the production, storage, sale, distribution and supply of dietary supplements across the country.

“As these dietary supplements are being sold in pharmacies across the country, despite a ban, it is necessary to inform the people,” said Pan Bahadur Chhetri, acting director at the Department of Drugs. These supplements are being sold in the form of capsules, tablets and syrup in the domestic market.

The national drug regulatory authority, however, recommended that vitamins A, C, D, E, B1, B2, B6, B12, niacinamide, d-Panthenic acid or its salts and panthenol and folic acid be consumed as per the prescribed dose.

“If people need any specific nutrients it is recommended that they take such nutrients after consulting with medical doctors rather than buying multi-nutrient products from the market.

Such products comprise several components,”said Chhetri.

Dietary supplements are rich in vitamins that are fat soluble. When vitamins get deposited in the fat, several health problems can arise. Deposition of Vitamin D will lead to swelling of bones and high amount of Vitamin A in the body will lead to negative effects in the eyes of both the children and adults, according to Uma Koirala, who is a professor and also a nutritionist.

“High amount of iodine will lead to thyroid in people. Instead of consuming fortified foods and supplements, it is recommended that people consume healthy food that can be prepared easily at home,” she said.