The Antigua and Barbuda Pharmacy Council and by extension the Ministry of Health, Wellness & The Environment would like to advise the public of some very important issues of concern relating to three (3) products that can result in serious health challenges if consumed.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an alert on the use of Kingdom Honey Royal Honey VIP, a product that is marketed primarily on the internet for sexual enhancement. Analysis of this product has confirmed the presence of “Sildenafil”, the active ingredient in “Viagra”.
The public particularly individuals taking medication containing nitrates eg. Nitroglycerine are advised not to consume this product because it may result in the lowering of their blood pressure to dangerous levels.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also issued an alert on the use of contaminated cough and cold syrups made by an Indian drug manufacturer, Maiden Pharmaceuticals.
The Authorities are investigating the deaths of dozens of children in Gambia from kidney injuries possibly linked to the contaminated cough and cold products. The products implicated are:
- Promethazine Oral Solution
- Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup
- Makoff Baby Cough Syrup
- Magrip N Cold Syrup
Laboratory analysis revealed the presence of unacceptable levels of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol both of which can be toxic when consumed.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in the USA has signaled the alarm having noticed an emerging trend by drug traffickers to deliberately drive addiction amongst children and young adults by marketing “Fentanyl” a synthetic opioid, as brightly colored candies. “Rainbow Fentanyl” as the products are called are marketed as pills, powder or blocks and resembles sidewalk chalk.
Fentanyl is fifty (50) times more potent than Heroin and one hundred (100) times more potent than Morphine which contributes to its highly addictive potential.
The Antigua and Barbuda Pharmacy Council will continue to monitor these developing public health challenges and work along with its partners particularly the Customs and Excise Division to ensure that the products identified are not imported into the state of Antigua and Barbuda.
In the event that any of these products are already in circulation and consumed members of the public are advised to discontinue their use immediately and call the Ministry of Health at 462-5522 Ext 240 or have a discussion with their health care provider.
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