Counterfeit medicines - undeclared active substance pentoxifylline

Enforcement | 01/12/2020

A presumed medicinal product offered illegally via the internet (read more about distance marketing of medicines), was found to contain an undeclared active substance after examination by the Austrian Official Medicines Control Laboratory (OMCL).The product is similar in presentation to a common and authorised medicinal product for the treatment of epilepsy and nerve pain. The active ingredient gabapentin is indicated on the primary or outer packaging of the product; however, the tablets contained the active ingredient pentoxifylline in relevant concentrations. Pentoxifylline is used to treat circulatory disorders. Consequently, the product in question is qualified as counterfeit medicine.

The same internet source ( offers other products, which are usually prescribed for pain relief, anti-inflammation or treatment of erectile dysfunction, respectively. However, based on the results of the product mentioned at the beginning, all product-related information on this platform is questionable from the point of view of BASG. There is a well-founded suspicion that other products originating from this source could also be counterfeit medicines.

The ingestion of unknown amounts of unknown active pharmaceutical ingredients poses a significant health risk; any side effects that may occur may not be detected or may be detected too late for adequate treatment. In this context, please also take note of the following information from the Federal Office for Safety in Health Care regarding the purchase of medicines on the Internet and the purchase of medicines on illegal websites.

If you have any information about this or other, possibly illegal products, please contact the body responsible for combating illegality (Enforcement Section) of the Federal Office for Safety in Health Care at


Further inquiry note