The World Health Organization (WHO) issued an alert Wednesday over four cough and cold syrups made by Maiden Pharmaceuticals in India. It notified that the same could be linked to the deaths of 66 children in The Gambia.
According to government sources, CDSCO has taken up the matter and ordered a detailed investigation against the cough and cold syrups produced and exported to the Gambia by Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited, which is based in Haryana’s Sonepat, on the basis of available information shared by WHO.
The medicines have been identified as Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup. “Laboratory analysis of samples of each of the four products confirms that they contain unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants,” the World Health Organization said.
The symptoms include – toxic effects can include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state, and acute kidney injury which may lead to death.
Addressing a press conference, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that while the contaminated products have so far only been detected in the Gambia, they may have been distributed to other countries,” said at a press conference on Wednesday. He added that WHO recommends all countries detect and remove these products from circulation to prevent further harm to patients.
The Gambian health ministry’s advice on syrup paracetamol was issued on September 9, a month after investigators reported the death of at least 28 children aged five months to four years from acute renal failure.
The World Health Organization said that all batches of the products should be considered unsafe till they are analyzed by national regulatory authorities.