Drug Mix-up Alert
– A common pain-killer was withdrawn from the shelves of pharmacies last night amid fears of “sabotage.” The action was taken after a powerful psychiatric drug found its way into packets of Nurofen Plus.
Users of Nurofen Plus were urged to check their packets to ensure they contain the correct medicine – and the manufacturers urged them to return them to retailers. Nurofen Plus is packaged in black and silver while the psychiatric drugs, Seroquel Xl, are found in black and gold packaging.
The alert was raised after three defective packets were reported by pharmacies from across the UK. Yesterday more defective packets were found in more pharmacies.
Ian Holloway, from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, said: “People should check to see if they have any affected packets of Nurofen Plus. If you do, return them to the pharmacy where you bought them from.
“You can also report this to the MHRA’s DMRC on 020 3080 6574.
“If you have taken a tablet and you have any questions, speak to your GP.”
Nurofen Plus medical director Dr Aomesh Bhatt said: “We are taking this matter extremely seriously and have decided to recall all packs of Nurofen Plus as the most prudent course of action in the current circumstances.
“We’re asking consumers to return any packs of Nurofen Plus to a pharmacy. No other Nurofen products are affected or being recalled.”
Warning Issued Over Herbal Slimming Products
– A warning has been issued over several herbal slimming products that can cause serious side effects. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has received safety warnings and alerts from health agencies in Sweden, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and the US over a number of products, which can be bought from overseas-based websites.
Instant Slim, Acai Berry ABC, Slimline Soft Gel, Hygia Fit, Sport Burner, Health Slimming Coffee, Instant Slim, 3X Slimming Powder, Li D Daidaihua and Botanical Slimming all contain sibutramine. This drug is a prescription-only substance that was used to treat obesity, but was withdrawn across Europe because its use increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Other herbal slimming products have also been found to contain at least one undeclared substance such as sibutramine and/or phenolphthalein.
Phenolphthalein is a solution that is used in chemical experiments and has previously been used as an ingredient for laxative products. It is also suspected that Phenolphthalein is a cancer causing agent.
Products that contain these include Celerite Slimming Tea, Pink Lady for Women Capsules, St Nirvana Herbal Slimming capsules and Pro-Trim 8 Slimming Effects (All in One) – For Young Women; Pro-Trim 8 Slimming Effects (All in One) – For Older Women; and Leptin HCA Weight Loss Milk Tea.
Richard Woodfield, MHRA group manager for herbal medicines policy, said: “People often assume that because herbal medicines and products contain natural extracts they are automatically safe but this is not the case. No medicine or product is risk free.
“We urge people not to take any slimming medicines or products bought online without consulting with a pharmacist or doctor as they risk being supplied with medicines that are not safe or not suitable for them to use.”
He said consumers should look for products that bear the Traditional Herbal Registration logo because they will have been assessed and quality checked to ensure that they are safe to use.