Some batches of own-brand blackcurrant cough syrups for children have been recalled because there is a risk that they may include mould, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) has advised.
The products are all made by GSL and sold as own-brand products in Tesco, Asda, Wilkos, Sainsbury, Morrisons, Superdrug and Numark pharmacy. Affected cough syrup has also been supplied in Bell, Sons & Co livery to Poundstretcher and to a number of wholesalers.
A problem with one of the ingredients in these medicines has been identified that could allow mould to grow in the syrup, and there is a low risk that the mould could make the child unwell or cause a reaction, the MHR said
Dr Sam Atkinson, the MHRS’s Director of the Inspection, Enforcement and Standards Division, said that parents should check if they have any of the listed cough syrups. “If you do, please don’t use them. Take them back to where you bought them from.”
She emphasised that the mould was not always visible, so this applied to all affected cough syrup bottles “even if it looks okay to use”.
The MHRA has asked health professionals to be alert for any potential adverse effects in children who may have taken the syrup. No cases of any ill effects have so far been reported, but 15 affected batches of eight types of own-brand blackcurrant cough syrup have been recalled as a precaution.
Batches are of the following products are affected: Asda Children’s Dry Cough Syrup Glycerol Blackcurrant Flavour; Bell’s Healthcare Children’s Dry Cough Glycerin 0.75g/5ml Syrup; Morrisons Children’s Dry Tickly Cough Glycerin 0.75g/5ml Oral Solution; Numark Children’s Dry Cough 0.75 g/5 ml Oral Solution; Sainsbury’s Children’s Dry Cough 0.75g/5ml Syrup; Superdrug Children’s Dry Tickly Cough Glycerin 0.75 g/5 ml Oral Solution; and Tesco Children’s Dry Cough Syrup; and Wilko Tickly Cough 0.75g/5ml Oral Solution.
The mould in affected batches has been identified as Penicillium decumbens, Penicillium corylophilum and Penicillium brevicompactum. Although these moulds may be inactivated in the stomach, there is a low potential risk of systemic infection in younger or immunocompromised children, causing symptoms of infection such as fever.
Penicillium brevicompactum and Penicillium corylophilum can produce mycotoxins. Reactions to these mycotoxins are rare, but there is a low risk they could induce non-specific toxin reactions that could include rashes, breathing difficulties and gastro-intestinal symptoms.