UAE warns pharmacists after US cough and cold medicines recall

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Dubai, Oct 16 (UNI) Five days after the voluntary withdrawal of the cough and cold medicines by the US, the UAE Health Ministry has warned pharmacists against selling such drugs over-the-counter.

Although most of the recalled medicines by the US are not available in the UAE, the recall has raised the issue of overdosing dangers for infants.

A senior official with the Pharmaceutical Supplies and Control Department at the Ministry of Health said the Ministry had not received any reports of death arising from overdosage as yet.

However, she said this did not absolve pharmacists from illegally selling any cold and cough medicines for infants over the counter.

''In the UAE, cough and cold medicines for infants are only available through prescription. If pharmacists sell them over the counter, they are breaking the law. If anyone breaks the law they will be subject to investigation and penalties,'' the Health Ministry official was quoted as saying by Gulf News.

She said the country imposed its own regulations onto these medicines - such as requiring prescriptions for medicines that are otherwise sold without prescription elsewhere, to protect the public.

''Parents should always consult their doctors when (it involves) children under two and medicines. It is better to be safe than sorry,'' she said.

The recall by the US has raised serious concerns all over the world regarding the safe nature of cough and cold medicines.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, most of the 54 deaths from decongestants and 69 from antihistamines in the US from 1969 to 2006 involved children under the age of two with overdose and drug toxicity as common factors in the deaths.

UNI

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