NAFDAC Issues Alert Over Children Killer Cough Syrup in Circulation

*Says medicine has caused death of 66 children in Gambia 

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned healthcare providers and the public against the use of four substandard and contaminated  cough syrups which have caused the death of 66 children in Gambia.

They include Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip Cold Syrup.
It disclosed that the dangerous paediatric cough syrups were being circulated in Gambia.

In a public health advisory issued by NAFDAC yesterday, it stated it never registered the medicines, therefore it should not be in circulation in the country.
The advisory added: “We are notifying healthcare providers and the public of the death of 66 children in Gambia following the use of four substandard cough syrups as reported by WHO in September 2022.

“The four products are Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup.”
NAFDAC said laboratory analysis of samples of the four products confirmed that they contain, “unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants.”

It explained that Diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol are toxic to humans when consumed and could prove fatal.
According to NAFDAC, toxic effects could include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state, and acute kidney injury which may lead to death.

The agency gave the name of the manufacturer of these products as Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited (Haryana, India).
“To date, the stated manufacturer has not provided guarantees to WHO on the safety and quality of these products.

Product Details

“The details of the substandard cough syrups are as follows: Product Manufacture Product name -Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited
(Haryana, India) Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup.,”
NAFDAC further said all batches of the products listed should be considered unsafe.

“The substandard products in this alert are unsafe and their use, especially in children, may result in serious injury or death. The products are not registered by NAFDAC, therefore should not be in circulation.

“To date, these four products have been identified in The Gambia, but may have been distributed, through informal markets, to other countries or regions.

“NAFDAC implores importers, distributors, retailers and consumers to exercise caution and vigilance within the supply chain to avoid the importation, distribution, sale and use of the substandard cough syrups.

“All medical products must be obtained from authorised/licenced suppliers. The products’ authenticity and physical condition should be carefully checked.

“Members of the public in possession of the above listed products are advised to discontinue sale or use and submit stock to the nearest NAFDAC office.

“If you have these substandard products, please do not use them. If you, or someone you know, have used these products or suffered any adverse reaction/event after use, you are advised to seek immediate medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional,” it said.

The statement further urged healthcare professionals and consumers to report any suspicion of adverse drug reaction and substandard and falsified medicines to NAFDAC.

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