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Ministry of Health recalls opioid medicine Pholcodine

Publish date: Wed, 22 Mar 2023, 09:30 AM

KUALA LUMPUR (March 22):  The Drug Control Authority under the Ministry of Health Malaysia has issued a cancellation and product recall of Pholcodine, an opioid medicine that is used in adults and children for the treatment of non-productive (dry) cough and, in combination with other active substances, for the treatment of symptoms of cold and flu.

In a statement on Tuesday (March 21),  prescription pharmacy chain Alpro Pharmacy’s chief pharmacist and director of engagement Lim En Ni said the reason for the recall is the possible drug interaction with Neuromuscular Blocking Agent - commonly used as part of the regime in General Anaesthesia during medical surgery, causing anaphylaxis if the patient took Pholcodine containing products in the past 12 months.

She said anaphylaxis is a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction.

Lim said for consumers who have purchased the medication, and have not consumed it, they can bring it back to the pharmacy or healthcare facility that supplied the medication.

"For consumers who have used Pholcodine medicine in the past 12 months, they are encouraged to visit their nearest community pharmacy to prepare a medication list for them to show to their surgeon or doctor when surgery is required," she said.

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