SA doctor’s warning against withdrawn pholcodine-containing medicine comes as shocking news to parents

Vonlugwig added that any pholcodine-containing syrup must be discarded as it has been deemed a hazard by SAHPRA.

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) announced in April, that it made the decision to withdraw pholcodine-containing medicines from the local market.

Despite the recall, a local doctor has reiterated the dangers of the product.

Dr Vonlugwig, a general practitioner in Polokwane, issued a public service announcement to consumers, warning them against using Pholtex Junior, a popular cough medicine in South Africa.

Holding the medicine to the camera, he said, “If you have this cough medicine at home, please throw it away immediately or return it to the pharmacy that you brought it from.”

Vonlugwig added that any pholcodine-containing syrup must be discarded as it has been deemed a hazard by South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).

“The use of this type of syrup has been associated with anaesthetic risk of death, even if you have used it within the past 12 months,” said Vonlugwig.

He then listed other pholcodine-containing products, including Pholtex Forte and Adco-Pholcolint.

SAHPRA’s reason for removing the product from the local market was due to “the increased risk of sudden, severe, and life-threatening allergic reactions occurring during surgery,” as mentioned by Vonlugwig.

Pholcodine is used to treat dry coughs and is available in a number of non-prescription medicines.
In a statement issued by SAHPRA T the time, it said, “In consideration of the nature of the adverse reaction, including its unpredictability and severity, SAHPRA has concluded that the potential risk outweighs the benefits.”

Vonlugwig’s warning came as a surprise to many parents, unaware of SAHPRA’s withdrawal.

One online user even stated that some pharmacies are still stocking the product: “Withdrawn by SAHPRA since April according to Google, yet some pharmacies and Drs still prescribe pholtex. Eye opening indeed, thanks for sharing.”

“Have this at home. How is it that You the one to give us this information and not all our local pharmacy, clicks and Dischem,” asked another.

One mom even thanked the doctor for his post, saying: “My daughter was literally scheduled for theatre the weekend. It was recalled. By some stroke of luck we read about the recall before the procedure.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.