A number of cough and cold medicines have been pulled from UK store shelves over “very rare” health fears on Tuesday (March 14). The 20 remedies, which include popular brands like Covonia, Night Nurse and Day Nurse, have been withdrawn following a review by regulators.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) first recommended their withdrawal three months ago. Included in the banned list are a number of own-brand medicines that are sold by pharmacies across the country like Boots and Superdrug.
A review by medical regulators found that the benefits of a drug called pholcodine which is used in many cough and cold remedies, both syrup and lozenges, does not outweigh the risk of anaphylaxis. Often referred to as anaphylactic shock, this is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that leads to symptoms such as swollen eyes and itchy skin.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which regulates drug safety in the United Kingdom, flagged the evidence put forward by the EMA and have concluded that an increased risk of anaphylaxis also extends out to patients who receive general anaesthesia during surgery.
Medicinal products containing pholcodine are currently only available to purchase at UK pharmacies and not from supermarket aisles. MHRA advises anyone who has any questions about the remedies they are taking or wish to take to get in contact with a pharmacist, their GP or other medical professionals.
Full list of cough and cold medicines recalled in the UK
- Boots Night Cough Relief Oral Solution PL 00014/0230
- Boots Dry Cough Syrup 6 Years+ PL 00014/0523
- Boots Day Cold & Flu Relief Oral Solution PL 00014/0565
- Cofsed Linctus PL 00240/0097
- Care Pholcodine 5mg/5ml Oral Solution Sugar Free PL 00240/0101
- Galenphol Paediatric Linctus PL 00240/0102
- Galenphol Strong Linctus, PL 00240/0103
- Covonia Dry Cough Sugar Free Formula PL 00240/0353
- Pholcodine Linctus Bells Healthcare 5mg Per 5ml Oral Solution PL 03105/0059
- Numark Pholcodine 5mg per 5ml Oral Solution PL 03105/0059
- Well Pharmaceuticals Pholcodine 5mg per 5ml Oral Solution, PL 03105/0059
- Superdrug Pholcodine Linctus BP PL 03105/0059
- Strong Pholcodine Linctus BP PL 03105/0060
- Pholcodine Linctus BP PL 04917/0002
- Strong Pholcodine Linctus BP, PL 04917/0005
- Pholcodine Linctus PL 12965/0030
- Day & Night Nurse Capsules PL 44673/0068
- Day Nurse Capsules PL 44673/0069
- Day Nurse PL 44673/0075