Two more children's cough syrups found to be toxic – as 141 reported dead | The Sun
TWO more cough syrups have been found to contain toxic chemicals linked to 141 child deaths worldwide.
Indian officials spotted deadly toxins in Trimax Expectorant and Sylpro Plus Syrup made by Norris Medicines.
The World Health Organization is currently investigating whether the products have been exported elsewhere.
Child deaths linked to Indian-made, contaminated cough syrups have occurred in Gambia, Uzbekistan and Cameroon since July 2022, but not the UK or US.
The Norris Medicines syrups were found to contain up to 2.4 times the acceptable safe limit of diethylene glycol, a sweet-tasting chemical that breaks down into toxic compounds in the body.
It is normally used in antifreeze and industrial solvents.
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HG Koshia, commissioner of Gujarat state's Food and Drug Control Administration, said India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation inspected Norris’ factory last month.
The plant was ordered to suspend production and recall the drugs.
Koshia said: “The company failed miserably on compliance parameters of good manufacturing practices.
“Adequate water system was not there. The air-handling unit was also not up to the mark. In the larger interest of public health, we ordered the unit to stop production.”
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It was the first time in two years the CDSCO flagged diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol contamination in one of its monthly reports.
The chemicals can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, acute kidney injury and death.
A WHO spokesperson said: “We are aware of the CDSCO report and have communicated with that agency to ascertain where the products have been exported.
“This information is pivotal when we consider whether or not to issue a medical product alert.”
The CDSCO also found three batches of COLD OUT syrup made by Fourrts (India) Laboratories contaminated with both toxins.
The WHO previously said a batch sold in Iraq had “unacceptable levels” of both in August.
At the time, Fourrts chairman SV Veeramani said: “There is no report of any adverse effect or death due to the product.
“As a matter of abundant caution, we have voluntarily recalled the product in Iraq market.”
He did not comment on the latest CDSCO report.
It comes after Britain’s drug watchdog started a review of a cough syrup because of concerns people are using it to get high.
Codeine linctus — which can be bought for as little as £4.49 online — is being reviewed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
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It said its consultation was launched after reports the drug “is being used recreationally for its opioid effects”.
Experts are concerned users could be at risk of deadly overdoses.
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