Selected Benylin cough syrup being recalled

  • The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has recalled two batches of Benylin paediatric cough syrup.
  • The Nigerian National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) reported last week that batches contained high levels of diethylene glycol.
  • The affected batches have been distributed to several countries including South Africa, Eswatini, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria.

Following the recall of certain brands of peanut butter in February this year, now local consumers have to be careful when picking up cough syrup. This as two batches of Benylin paediatric cough syrup have been recalled from South African retailers.

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) confirmed the news this week on the back of an alert issued by the Nigerian National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) earlier this month.

NAFDAC noted that it found high levels of diethylene glycol, which is toxic and potentially lethal to humans if digested, SAHPRA has highlighted.

It explains that toxic effects can include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, inability to pass urine, headache, an altered mental state, and an acute kidney injury that may lead to death in some cases.

“SAHPRA immediately contacted the South African manufacturer, Kenvue, formerly Johnson and Johnson, for a response. Following engagements with the manufacturer and in the best interest of the public, it was resolved that affected batches would immediately be recalled while an investigation is ongoing,” said in a statement per SA News.

The Authority added that the identified affected batch were numbered as 329304 and 329303. Along with South Africa and Nigeria, bottles of paediatric Benylin cough syrup from the two batches were also sent to Eswatini, Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania.

For those unfamiliar with the brand and its paediatric syrup, it is described as being bright red in colour with a raspberry smell and taste. It is packaged in a 100ml amber glass bottle with a plastic measuring cup.

“SAHPRA wishes to inform the public not to panic, as the matter is being handled with priority. Batch recalls are batch-specific and do not necessarily apply to other batches or similar products. The manufacturer is a SAHPRA-licenced manufacturer and complies with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP),” Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela, SAHPRA CEO, pointed out.

“SAHPRA is alerting healthcare professionals and the public to discontinue the use of the two batches mentioned, remove them from their inventory and return them to their normal distribution channels immediately,” they continued.

If you are looking to relieve cough and congestive symptoms, or treat hay fever and other allergies at the moment, it may be best to steer clear of Benylin in general for now while the affected batches are removed from shelves.

[Image – Photo by Bruno Guerrero on Unsplash]


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