Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

Two antiretroviral drugs manufactured by Adcock Ingram, Adco-Zidovudine and AdcoNevirapine tablets, are being urgently recalled.

This is after the pharmaceutical company discovered that the products were mistakenly packaged in the wrong cartons.

Adcock Ingram said 4168 packets of Adco-Nevirapine tablets were mistakenly packed in Adco-Zidovudine cartons. Each carton holds 60 tablets.

But the pharmaceutical company stressed that the packets were correctly labelled inside the carton.

Adcock Ingram spokesman Kuben Pillay said though the outside carton was labelled Adco-Zidovudine the tablets in the blister packs inside the cartons might be Adco-Nevirapine.

The affected ARV drugs are labelled Adco-Nevirapine tablets with the batch number 1J that expire in January next year, and Adco-Zidovudine tablets, batch number 1Z, expiring in November.

Nevirapine is used to prevent mother-to-child transmission, while Zidovudine is used to treat HIV infection and Aids.

"We urge all our customers and healthcare practitioners to stop using these two ARV products with immediate effect," Pillay said.

"We appeal to all patients using the two ARV products to consult their doctors since different patients might present different side effects.

"This could include skin rash, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, headaches and fatigue.

"At present we are not aware of any patient who has suffered any side effects as a result of this packaging error.

"We believe the problem has been contained.

"To date we have not received reports of any adverse events at our Pharmacovigilance centre either."

The recall of the two drugs began on Friday and will continue until all the identified cartons are returned.

"We urge the public not to use their discretion in this regard but to consult their medical practitioners immediately."

The Department of Health said the recall of the two ARV drugs was done in partnership with the Medicine Control Council.

Health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang will make a statement today after meeting with the Medicine Control Council .