More African countries recall batch of cough syrup

A batch of children’s cough syrup manufactured by Johnson & Johnson has been recalled by drug authorities in six African countries.

The recalled Benylin Paediatric syrup, batch no 329304, was manufactured in South Africa in May 2021 and was marked with an expiry date of April 2024.

South Africa’s drug regulator said batch 329303 was also affected, and that the batches had been sold in South Africa, Eswatini, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria.

Last week, Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (Nafdac) recalled a batch of the Benylin Pediatric syrup after detecting the toxic substance Diethylene glycol in it.

A few days later, Kenya’s pharmacy board ordered a halt in the sale of the syrup, acting on Nafdac’s advice.

Drug regulators in Tanzania and Zimbabwe are the latest to recall the syrup as a precautionary measure, although Zimbabwe’s Medicines Control Authority said there was no record of the syrup being imported into the country.

They were then followed by drug authorities in South Africa and Rwanda, who recalled the syrup during the weekend.

Diethylene glycol has been linked to the recent deaths of dozens of children in Cameroon and The Gambia.

Human consumption of the substance causes multiple adverse effects, including acute kidney injury, which may lead to death.

Kenvue, which now owns the Benylin Paediatric syrup brand, said it is collaborating with authorities and conducting its own tests, Reuters news agency reported. –BBC

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