Revised: 2 July 2013


This letter was sent to people known to be taking Cheng Kum or Shen Loon



14 December 2001


Dear Consumer


The Ministry of Health is aware that some individuals have been importing Cheng Kum and Shen Loon capsules for use in joint pain, skin problems, colds, period pain and other health problems. Recent testing of these products shows that they contain a prescription medicine steroid (corticosteroid) called betamethasone.

Why is this a problem?

The side effects of using steroids include round or 'moon' face, pimples, easy bruising and weight gain. Doctors have seen these and more serious side effects in some people taking Cheng Kum or Shen Loon. Using steroids without your doctor's advice can lead to other harmful effects. To avoid a severe withdrawal effect, Cheng Kum and Shen Loon may need to be carefully reduced by your doctor.

What should you do?

If you are still taking Cheng Kum or Shen Loon, you need to keep taking it and tell your doctor as soon as possible. Make an appointment to see your doctor for a check-up. Your doctor will explain how to safely stop taking Cheng Kum or Shen Loon. When you go to the doctor, take any leftover capsules with you. The Ministry of Health has also sent a letter to your doctor, telling them about Cheng Kum and Shen Loon.

What happens to supplies already ordered?

The Ministry of Health has stopped all supplies of Cheng Kum and Shen Loon into New Zealand. From the date of this letter, none of these products will be available for you to buy. If you have ordered Cheng Kum or Shen Loon and not yet received it, you could contact Lee Bye (NZ) Ltd, phone (04) 385 4504 or Shen Loon Enterprise SDN. BHD (Malaysia), phone 00604 8265948 or 00604 8265949 to see if your money can be refunded.

It is important that you see your doctor if you are taking Cheng Kum or Shen Loon. If you need more information, go to the Medsafe web site (

Yours sincerely


Dr Stewart Jessamine
Principal Technical Specialist (Medicines Regulation and Pharmacovigilance)


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