Health Canada advises consumers not to use herbal sleep supplement Sleepees which contains a habit-forming drug

OTTAWA, Feb. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - Health Canada is advising consumers not to
use a product called Sleepees, because it was found to contain an undeclared
drug estazolam, which can be habit-forming when used for as little as a few
months. Consumers who may still have this product in their homes are advised
to consult with a health care professional before they stop taking the
capsules, because of the risk of withdrawal symptoms.

Estazolam belongs in the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, a class
of drugs that should only be prescribed by a healthcare practitioner.
Estazolam should not be used by people with an allergy to any benzodiazepines,
such as Valium (diazepam) , Restoril (temazepam) and Ativan (lorazepam), or
those individuals affected by the neuromuscular disorder myasthenia gravis or
by sleep apnea. Benzodiazepines, including estazolam, should only be used by
pregnant women if absolutely necessary, and with caution by the elderly, and
those with a history of substance abuse. The side-effects associated with the
use of products containing estazolam vary according to the individual and can
include dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, depression, loss of memory and

The product Sleepees is advertised as an herbal sleep aid and is not
authorized for sale in Canada. Sleepees is distributed by Our World Network
Inc. in Vancouver, British Columbia. The distributor has stopped sale and
initiated a recall of the following lots of this product: B39054006,
B39069004, B39035001, B38883003, B38893003, OWN 961, OWN-042606, OWN 980,
OWN 913.

Consumers who have purchased Sleepees should return the product to the
place of purchase. To date, no adverse reactions suspected to be associated
with the use of this product have been reported in Canada.

Health Canada also advises Canadians to contact the Health Products and
Food Branch Inspectorate at 1-800-267-9675 if they find Sleepees for sale in

Consumers requiring more information about this advisory can contact
Health Canada's public enquiries line at (613) 957-2991, or toll free at

Please note that this Advisory does not apply to Sleep-Eze, a product for
which Health Canada has issued authorization to sell to Medtech products Inc.

To report a suspected adverse reaction to this or any other health
product, please contact the Canadian Adverse Drug Reaction Monitoring Program
(CADRMP) of Health Canada by one of the following methods:

Telephone: 1-866-234-2345
Facsimile: 1-866-678-6789

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