Kenya, Nigeria Recall Children’s Cough Syrup Over Toxic Substance

Kenya and Nigeria’s health regulators have initiated a recall of a specific batch of Johnson & Johnson’s children’s cough syrup following the detection of elevated levels of a potentially hazardous toxic substance.

Tests conducted on Benylin Paediatric unveiled a concerning presence of diethylene glycol, a compound associated with fatalities among infants in various countries.

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) of Kenya, in an official statement issued on Thursday, has alerted the public, urging a recall of Benylin Paediatric 100mls cough syrup Batch No 329304, originating from South Africa and manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.

Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) acted swiftly, becoming the first nation on the continent to recall the syrup on Wednesday.

“Laboratory analysis conducted on the product showed that it contains an unacceptable high level of Diethylene glycol and was found to cause acute oral toxicity in laboratory animals,” said NAFDAC’ on its website.

The recalled syrup is commonly employed in the treatment of cough, congestion-related symptoms, high fever, and other allergic reactions in children aged two to 12.

Kenya, responding to a recall notification issued by NAFDAC, highlighted the urgency of the situation.

Presently, the PPB is sampling significant quantities of Benylin Paediatric 100mls syrup within its authority to ascertain the levels of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol.

“If you have a bottle from Batch No 329304, manufactured in May 2021, do not consume the product. Return it to the point of purchase or a designated collection point for safe disposal,” said PPB in a statement.

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