Date issued: 10 July 2023
Issued by: Adjunct Clinical Professor Brett Sutton, Chief Health Officer
Issued to: Health professionals and consumers
- The Department of Health has been notified that some Ayurvedic medicines for sale in grocery stores in Victoria contain ingredients – including lead – that are scheduled poisons. Some of these ingredients are prohibited for supply and use in Australia because they pose a danger to human health.
- The Victorian Department of Health also continues to receive notifications of cases of lead poisoning caused by the ingestion of Ayurvedic medications that are contaminated with lead and imported from overseas.
- An ‘AUST R’ or ‘AUST L’ number on the packaging of products indicates that they are approved for supply by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Anyone who is using Ayurvedic medicines purchased or imported from overseas or purchased in Victoria where the product does not have this number should stop consuming the product immediately.
- Anyone taking unapproved medicines with potential symptoms of lead poisoning should be screened for lead toxicity.
- These incidents are a timely reminder about the value of asking patients if they use complementary medicines and where they purchase the products from.
- Read the full advisory: Ayurvedic medicines possibly containing Scheduled Poisons and heavy metals