From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has raised the alarm over four deadly cough syrups currently in circulation in Gambia with the possibility of finding its way into the Nigerian market. It tasked healthcare providers in the country to be on the watch-out.
It listed the four paediatric cough syrups as: Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup.
NAFDAC, in a statement, on Sunday, said 66 children have so far died following the use of the four substandard cough syrups as reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The regulatory agency explained that laboratory analysis of samples of the four syrups confirmed that they contain unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants.
“Diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol are toxic to humans when consumed and can prove fatal. Toxic effects can include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state and acute kidney injury which may lead to death. Unfortunately, the manufacturer of these products, Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited, Haryana, India, has not provided guarantees to WHO on the safety and quality of these products.”
NAFDAC warned Nigerians to consider all batches of these products unsafe and that it has not registered them.
“The substandard products in this alert are unsafe and their use, especially in children, may result in serious injury or death. 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. Healthcare professionals and consumers are encouraged to report any suspicion of adverse drug reaction and substandard and falsified medicines to NAFDAC.”