National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has cautioned Nigerians and healthcare providers against four deadly pediatric cough syrups from India that are currently in circulation in the Gambia with the possibility of getting into Nigeria.
The four pediatric cough syrups according to NAFDAC are Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup.
NAFDAC, in a statement, on Sunday, disclosed that 66 children have so far died following the use of the four substandard cough syrups as reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The Agency further explained that laboratory analysis of samples of the four products 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, therefore, declared that Nigerians should consider all batches of these products as unsafe and should not be used.
“The substandard products in this alert are unsafe and their use, especially in children, may result in serious injury or death.”
It also stated that the products are not registered by NAFDAC, and therefore should not be in circulation in Nigeria. “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 implored importers, distributors, retailers and consumers to exercise caution
and vigilance within the supply chain to avoid the importation, distribution, sale and
use of substandard pediatric cough syrups.
It advised that all medical products must be obtained from authorized/licensed suppliers and the products’ authenticity and physical condition should be carefully checked.
“Additionally, 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.
“Healthcare professionals and consumers are encouraged to report any suspicion of
adverse drug reaction and substandard and falsified medicines to NAFDAC.”