An unauthorized sleep-aid marketed as a "hypnotic sleep inducer" has been recalled over concerns that it could pose serious side effects in users.

So-called Blackout capsules used to be sold at multiple retailers across Canada and online without a prescription, but Health Canada said they contain a prescription-strength dose of the drug L-tryptophan.

"Prescription drugs should be taken only under the advice and supervision of a healthcare professional because they are used to treat specific diseases and may cause serious side effects," officials said in the recall notice.

Some of the side effects associated with L-tryptophan include dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, headache and sexual problems.

When combined with other drugs, it can also cause serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening reaction.

Health Canada said unauthorized products like Blackout have not been evaluated for safety, effectiveness or quality.

Nutrabolics Inc., the company behind Blackout, agreed to recall the product voluntarily after officials raised concerns about potential health risks.

Anyone who has purchased Blackout either online or in person is encouraged to stop using it immediately and return it to the place of purchase.