Kenya Recalls Toxic Children’s Cough Syrup Days After Nigeria

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Following Nigeria’s decision to recall a batch of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) children’s cough syrup over toxicity concern, Kenya’s drug regulator has also issued a recall on the same batch under the Benylin Paediatric brand.

The action comes amidst concerns over the presence of diethylene glycol, a substance linked to fatal outcomes in several countries including Gambia, Uzbekistan, and Cameroon since 2022.

Impact News recalls that Nigeria’s health regulatory body revealed that laboratory tests conducted on the syrup detected elevated levels of diethylene glycol.

This compound has been associated with the tragic deaths of numerous children globally, marking one of the most severe instances of medication poisoning via oral ingestion.

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) of Kenya swiftly responded to the alarming findings, initiating investigations and advising the immediate cessation of sales for specific batches of the product, urging their return to suppliers.

Kenvue (KVUE.N), the entity currently overseeing the Benylin brand following its separation from J&J last year, has yet to provide a response to inquiries regarding the matter.

The recalled batch, manufactured by J&J in South Africa in May 2021 and bearing an expiration date of April 2024, remains under scrutiny by regulatory authorities as they work to safeguard public health and prevent potential harm associated with the consumption of the affected cough syrup.

On April 10th, 2024, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), made a public announcement regarding the recall of Benylin pediatric syrup produced by Johnson & Johnson  concerning levels of diethylene glycol.

According to NAFDAC this toxic compound is known to induce severe symptoms upon ingestion, including abdominal pain, vomiting, and acute kidney injury.

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