Health Canada is warning customers about unauthorized amoxicillin capsules seized from a supermarket in Ottawa's Vanier neighbourhood.
In a press release, the department states the capsules seized from Green Fresh Supermarket did say on the label that they contain the antibiotic drug, which is used to treat certain bacterial infections.
Still, they may pose serious health risks, Health Canada said.
"Selling unauthorized health products in Canada is illegal," the press release said.
"Unauthorized health products have not been approved by Health Canada, which means that they have not been assessed for safety, efficacy and quality and may pose a range of serious health risks."
Amoxicillin may cause severe allergic reactions, Health Canada said. Symptoms include swelling of the lips, face and throat, difficulty breathing, severe skin rashes and itchiness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and signs of kidney and liver failure.
Prescription drugs should be used only under the supervision of health-care professionals, the press release states, and misuse or overuse of amoxicillin could lead to antibiotic resistance.
It recommends people return any capsules to a local pharmacy for proper disposal and to only buy prescription drugs from licensed pharmacies selling authorized products.
Capsules no longer kept in store, says manager
Willa Yang, who manages the store, told CBC on Saturday they weren't selling the capsules directly to customers but just keeping a few boxes on hand in case loyal customers asked for it.
"Most of the products they found ... are made from [a] Chinese herb," Yang said. "This kind of medicine is not as strong as the Western medicine. And most of the Chinese families, they keep [it] at home."
Yang said the unauthorized amoxicillin capsules will no longer be allowed at the McArthur Avenue supermarket, and she invited inspectors to return.
"We've stopped having that product in the store," she said. "We need to follow regulations from the local law. We need to do the right thing."