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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

How Cough Syrups Can Trigger Deaths, Other Health Risks?

Gambia Cough Syrup Deaths: Cough syrup abuse has been a problem for decades. Recently, the death of 66 children in the Gambia has sent chills to Indian drug consumers as
the syrups which led to the tragic demise of kids were manufactured by Haryana-based Maiden pharmaceuticals. The syrups — Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup, and Magrip N Cold Syrup — were found to have unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants, said the World Health Organisation (WHO).Also Read – Cough Syrups Linked To 66 Child Deaths Were Not Sold In India, Says Health Ministry

All You Need to Know About Diethylene And Ethylene Glycols That Led to Death of 66 Kids

  • WHO said that diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol are toxic to humans, and can lead to death if consumed.
  • Symptoms of the toxic effects can cause are abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state, and acute kidney injury – possible death.
  • According to a report published in Science Direct Diethylene and ethylene glycols are both metabolized by alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenases to produce toxic metabolites.
  • Both glycols produce coma, seizures, metabolic acidosis and renal failure, though by different mechanisms.

An initial enquiry has found that these drugs—Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup, and Magrip N Cold Syru were not sold in India and were meant for export. The government has also said that the samples of the four syrups have been sent for testing and action will be initiated after the test results.

On the other hand, a door-to-door campaign has been launched in the Gambia to collect the cough and cold syrups blamed for the deaths of kids.  More than 16,000 products have been located so far and have been taken away for destruction.

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