- Nigerian government has announced a ban on baby teething medicine, 'My Pikin' following the reported deaths of 25 children within two weeks in three teaching hospitals. More than 50 children are also reported tio have been hospitalised with chronic kidney disease, local media reported.
Director general of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Professor Dora Akunyili said the Agency is worried that the killer drug has been in circulation yet agency was not aware of its existance.
She said NAFDAC was alerted to the existence of the mixture only on 19 November through a telephone call from a pharmacist in ABUTH after the death of some children suspected to have been be caused by “My Pikin.”
Nigeria Tribune quoted Ms Akunyili saying: “NAFDAC immediately commenced investigation. We visited ABUTH and it was confirmed. As of 20 November, 11 cases were reported, out of which eight had died and three were still on admission and under dialysis at the hospital in Zaria."
She said a baby of eight months on admission in one of the hospitals had reportedly not been passing unine for full six days after taking the mixture.
She said that NAFDAC officers nationwide had been directed to remove the drug from circulation.
However, the University College Hospital Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee of the hospital, Dr Adeniyi Adenipekun said the claim by NAFDAC that two children died at the hospital were unfounded.
He said no baby died as a result of taking any teething mixture in the hospital, saying the hospital did not prescribe teething mixture for children.
Minister of Health, D. Mohammed Lawal, on Tuesday ordered investigations into the incident, saying he had directed NAFDAC and experts from the ministry to urgently investigate the incident and report back to him.
He also directed parents to stop using teething mixtures and syrups from now on, until government could ascertain their efficacy.
Teething mixtures are said to be popular drugs because they usually contain paracetamol, which makes a baby not to feel pain; propylene glycol, properties similar to those of ethylene glycol and is generally recognised as safe for use in food, cosmetics, and medicines; and diphenhydramine, which induces the baby to sleep, thereby bringing relief in children growing first set of teeth.
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