After Gambia, Uzbekistan claims death of 18 children after consuming Indian made-cough syrups

The Health Ministry of Uzbekistan on Tuesday claimed 18 children, suffering with acute respiratory disease have died from taking excessive doses of Indian made cough syrups, Doc-1 Max – manufactured by Marion Biotech, an Indian firm.

To date, 18 out of 21 children with acute respiratory disease have died as a result of taking Doc-1 Max syrup…preliminary laboratory studies have shown that this series of Doc-1 Max syrup contains ethylene glycol. This substance is toxic and about 1-2 ml/kg of a 95% concentrated solution can cause serious changes in the patient’s health, such as vomiting, fainting, convulsions, cardiovascular problems and acute kidney failure,” read the statement from Uzbekistan health ministry.

The statement further confirmed that tablets and syrups of the drugs have been withdrawn from all the pharmacies in Uzbekistan. However, the Uzbekistan Health Ministry also informed that syrups were given without prescription from any certified doctor and ¾ times every day which exceeds the standard dose.

The deceased took 2.5-5 ml of the drug at home for 2-7 days, 3-4 times a day, which exceeds the standard dose of the drug for children. All children were given the drug without a doctor’s prescription. Since the main component of the drug is paracetamol, Doc 1 Max syrup was incorrectly used as an anti-cold remedy on the recommendation of the pharmacy seekers and this was the reason for the deterioration of the condition of the patients,” read the statement.

Earlier, Gambia’s Health Minister Ahmadou Latin Samateh said (on October 8) that the number of child deaths linked to contaminated cough syrups by an Indian manufacturer caused the death of 69 children.

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The World Health Organisation took note of the matter and warned on October 5, following which The Gambia government suspended their ties with Indian manufacturer Maiden Pharma.However, the Indian government has said that WHO has drawn a “premature link” between the deaths of the children and the India-made cough syrups.

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