Poisons Board addresses dangerous cough syrup flagged by WHO

The cough syrups have caused the death of 66 children in the Gambia

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board has poured cold water on word that poisonous cough syrups have found their way to the country.

The syrups according to the World Health Organization (WHO) have adverse effects on the patients mostly children and have been linked to the death of over 66 children in the Gambia.

The WHO has since revealed that the syrups under its radar include Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup that contain high levels of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol which when ingested in large amounts can turn poisonous.

PPB has however said all drugs in the local market are safe for use insisting that all the drugs have met the required health standards.

“We reassure the public that there is no cause for alarm as the cough preparations (syrups) and promethazine products in the Kenyan market meet market authorization requirements on quality, safety, and efficacy as laid out by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board," said PPB in a statement on Friday.

The pharmacy and poisons board further noted that the warning was restricted to the Gambia which had the products in its market.

"The WHO alert is specific to medical products manufactured by Malden Pharmaceuticals (Haryana, India), and not any other manufacturing sites," noted the Board.

PPB however cautioned members of the public to be on the lookout for any questionable medical drugs.

"Members of the public are however advised to be vigilant at all times and report any suspected poor-quality medicines or adverse drug reactions to the nearest healthcare facility and the Pharmacy and Poisons Board through its website, official email or by using the USSD code *271#," said PPB.

Before the statement by PPB, word was rife that the syrups were now available in the Kenyan market.

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