WHO ‘unsafe alert’ on syrup made by Punjab firm

New Delhi: The World Health Organization has is- sued a ‘product alert’ on contaminated syrup by an Indi- an manufacturer, warning that it is unsafe for use, especially in children, and may result in serious injury or death.

The WHO medical product alert refers to a batch of sub-standard (contaminated) Guaifenesin TG syrup identified in the Marshall Is- lands and Federated States of Micronesia and reported to the Organization on April 6, 2023. The manufacturer of the affected product is Pun- jab-based QP Pharmacy Ltd and its marketer is Trillium Pharma (Haryana).

WHO said, to date, neither the stated manufacturer nor the marketer have provided guarantees to them on the safety and quality of these products. Guaifenesin is an expectorant used to relieve chest congestion and symptoms of cough.

WHO ‘unsafe alert’ on syrup

According to the UN health body, samples of Guaifenesin syrup from Marshall Islands were analysed by quality control lab- oratories of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia. The analysis found that the product contained unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants that are known to be 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. The WHO alert comes in the backdrop of two recent incidents reported from Uzbekistan and Gambia in which it was alleged that medical products exported by two Indian firms to the two countries had certain contaminants which led to adverse reactions and the death of some patients.

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