Day & Night Nurse and Covonia cold and flu remedies are being WITHDRAWN from UK market over health fears
- The MHRA have withdrawn the medicines ‘as a precaution following a review’
- The European Medicines Agency recommended their withdrawal 3 months ago
Cold and flu remedies are being urgently pulled from shelves over fears they could be deadly.
Products being withdrawn include ones made by Day & Night Nurse and Covonia — as well as own-brand versions sold in Boots and Superdrug.
Medical regulators have withdrawn the medicines from the UK market ‘as a precaution following a review’, it emerged today.
The review found the benefits of pholcodine-containing cough and cold medicines ‘do not outweigh the increased risk of the very rare event of anaphylaxis’.
Pholcodine is mostly found in household cough syrups and the recall includes syrups and lozenges which are on shelves across the country.
Medical regulators have withdrawn the medicines from the UK market ‘as a precaution following a review’, it emerged today
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which polices the safety of drugs used in Britain, was behind the review.
The MHRA said today there is evidence of an increased risk of anaphylaxis ‘in patients who receive general anaesthesia involving neuromuscular blocking agents during surgery’.
It followed advice from the Commission on Human Medicines, which advises the Government on the safety, efficacy and quality of medicinal products, who said there is ‘sufficient overall evidence for an association with pholcodine’.
However, ‘the absolute risk of anaphylaxis remains very small in patients who have taken pholcodine’, the Commission confirmed.
Currently it is thought to affect around 1 case in 10,000 procedures.
It comes as bosses at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended their withdrawal from the EU market over three months ago in December 2022, following similar concerns.
There is no increased risk of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, with other allergens following pholcodine use, the MHRA confirmed.
‘The absolute risk in patients who have used pholcodine is very small, but patients should talk to a pharmacist, their GP or their surgical team if they have any questions,’ the watchdog added.
Pholcodine-containing products are only available in the UK for purchase in a pharmacy.
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