NAFDAC raises alarm over kidney-damaging cough syrup in circulation

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control has issued a public alert regarding the recall of Benylin Paediatric Syrup, a product manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.

“The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control is notifying the public of the recall of one lot of Benylin Pediatrics syrup manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, following recent toxicity findings in the laboratory on the product.” NAFDAC alerted on their website.

In the statement, NAFDAC pleaded, “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 (contaminated) regulated products” and anyone in possession of the above-mentioned product is advised to immediately discontinue sale or use and submit stock to the nearest NAFDAC office.

This precautionary measure follows recent laboratory findings revealing toxicity in the said product.

Laboratory analysis conducted on the affected batch detected the presence of Diethylene Glycol, a known toxic substance. The elevated levels of Diethylene Glycol raise serious safety concerns as ingestion of this substance can lead to severe health issues including abdominal pain, vomiting, and acute kidney injury, which may prove fatal.

Benylin Paediatric Syrup is a commonly used medication for managing cough and its associated symptoms, as well as for treating hay fever and other allergic conditions in children aged 2 to 12 years.

NAFDAC underscores the importance of exercising caution and vigilance among importers, distributors, retailers, and consumers along the supply chain to prevent the importation, distribution, sale, and use of substandard or contaminated regulated products.

It is imperative to procure medical products exclusively from authorized and licensed suppliers, ensuring thorough verification of their authenticity and physical condition.

Individuals in possession of the affected product are strongly advised to cease its sale or use immediately and to surrender any remaining stock to the nearest NAFDAC office.

Moreover, any adverse reactions observed following the use of this product should be promptly reported to qualified healthcare professionals for immediate medical attention. Healthcare practitioners and consumers are urged to report any suspicions of substandard or falsified medicines to the nearest NAFDAC office or through the various reporting channels provided by NAFDAC.

NAFDAC has instructed the Marketing Authorization Holder, Johnson and Johnson Company West Africa, to initiate the recall process for the affected batch, with notices to be uploaded to the WHO Global Surveillance and Monitoring System.

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