A potentially deadly ingredient prompts the recall of dozens of popular cough medicines, after one death and 50 major incidents
- 55 products urgently recalled for life-threatening ingredient
- The ingredient pholcodin is found in cold, flu, and cough medicines.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration has issued a massive national recall of dozens of cough medicines due to a potentially deadly ingredient.
A total of 55 products have been pulled from shelves over concerns about the ingredient pholcodin, which can cause people who ingest it to go into anaphylactic shock when mixed with general anesthesia.
The TGA says they are aware of 50 instances of this happening, including one death.
The recall includes syrups and lozenges that are on shelves across the country.
Pholcodine is mainly found in homemade cough syrups, such as Codral dry cough syrup, Benadryl, Amcal dry cough mix, Bisolvon, Chemsit’s Own tickle dry cough syrup, Terry White and many other pills and syrups.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued a national recall of dozens of cough medicines due to the potentially deadly ingredient pholcodin.
Pholcodine is found primarily in homemade cough syrups such as Codral dry cough syrup, Benadryl, Amcal dry cough mix, Bisolvon, Chemsit’s Own tickle dry cough syrup, Terry White cough syrup and many other pills and syrups.
The ingredient is frequently combined with other products to help treat cold and flu symptoms.
The 55 products withdrawn from the market that contained pholcodin on Tuesday were canceled from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Products.
TGA principal adjunct professor John Skerritt said it’s hard to predict who would be at risk of anaphylaxis during anesthesia and some patients don’t know if they’ve recently taken drugs that include the ingredient pholcodin.
A total of 55 products have been pulled from shelves due to concerns about the ingredient pholcodin, which can cause people who ingest it to go into anaphylactic shock when mixed with general anesthesia.
‘Some patients having emergency surgery may not be in a position to speak to their anesthetist at all. Also, while surgical centers may ask what prescription medications a patient is taking, they may not ask about over-the-counter products,” Professor Skerritt said.
“Fortunately, there are safer alternatives to treat a dry cough and consumers should seek advice from their doctor or pharmacist.
“I urge consumers to check to see if any of their over-the-counter cold and flu medications contain pholcodin, and if they do, ask your doctor or pharmacist to suggest an alternative treatment.”