A popular health supplement is leading people to falsely believing they have caught coronavirus – as its side effects mimic symptoms of the deadly virus.
Herbal supplement ArmaForce can make users lose their sense of taste and appetite, as well as bringing on vomiting and abdominal pain.
The supplement, designed to help with cold and flu symptoms, includes ingredients such as andrographis and olive leaf.
Andrographis can affect people’s sense of taste, with some losing it all together – which is also a well-known symptom of the coronavirus.
The effects have lead some people to fear they have contracted the deadly respiratory disease, experts fear.
ArmaForce (pictured) is a herbal supplement which has very similar side effects to symptoms of the coronavirus
Pharmacists have reported a rise in people worried they have contracted the deadly respiratory infection because they have lost their sense of taste, according to Brisbane Times.
Company Blackmores, which makes ArmaForce, admitted it had seen a rising number of people experiencing the side effect over recent months – which it says is down to more people taking it.
A spokeswoman for the company said investigations suggest ArmaForce is being purchased without professional healthcare advice and being used for too long at too high a dosage.
Since becoming aware of the issue Blackmores has moved to change labels in order to limit dosage and duration of use.
The company has also reached out to pharmacists to inform them in the increase of side effects being reported.
The spokeswoman said monitoring products and reporting trends is standard procedure.
Dr Nick Yim said anyone who suspects they had COVID-19 should be tested (pictured:, passengers on Melbourne to Sydney flight having health checks on July 6)
Dr Nick Yim, general practitioner and Australia Medical Association Queensland council member, said anyone who suspects they had COVID-19 should be tested.
He said this is regardless of what supplements and medications they are taking.
‘Many GPs might not be aware that this is a side effect of ArmaForce, and also many people would not mention that they are taking a herbal supplement if they were speaking to their doctor,’ Dr Kim said.
ArmaForce is typically sold at pharmacies but doesn’t require a prescription.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Blackmores for comment.