MCAZ cautions public against the use of over-the-counter flu medications

19 Jun, 2024 - 12:06 0 Views
MCAZ cautions public against the use of over-the-counter flu medications Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe

Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter

MEDICINES Control Authority of Zimbabwe has raised concern over the use of some over-the-counter medicines that are used to treat common colds, sinus and nasal congestion as they are causing side effects that the public must be aware of.

In a joint statement MCAZ and Johnson and Johnson (Pty) Ltd said some of these medicines include Benilyn Four Flu Liquid, Benylin Four Flu Tablets and Sinutub Sinus Pain non drowsy.

They said healthcare professionals should inform patients that pseudoephedrine-containing medicines are for short-term use only, used to relieve symptoms of nasal and sinus congestion with colds, flu and allergies.

“In collaboration with the Medicine Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ), Johnson and Johnson (Pty) Ltd would like to inform you about the risk of posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) and reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS) associated with the use of pseudoephedrine-containing medicines.

“Cases of PRES and RCVS have been reported with the use of pseudoephedrine-containing medicines. Pseudoephedrine-containing medicines are contraindicated in patients with severe or uncontrolled hypertension, or with severe acute or chronic kidney disease or renal failure, as these conditions increase the risks of PRES or RCVS,” it reads.

Symptoms of PRES and RCVS include sudden severe headache or thunderclap headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion, seizures and/or visual disturbances.

Patients are advised to immediately stop using these medicines and seek medical assistance if signs or symptoms of PRES or RCVS develop.

They said patients should be enlightened that they may experience non-serious side effects, which are typically mild, while using any medicine.

Health officials were encouraged to remind patients to follow the instructions for use in the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) and that they should be alerted about the risks of PRES and RCVS associated with the use of pseudoephedrine-containing medicines. Healthcare professionals should notify patients about PRES and RCVS cases reported with the use of these medicines, and also that, PRES and RCVS are rare conditions that can involve inflammation and/or reduced blood supply to the brain.

“Healthcare professionals should advise patients to stop taking pseudoephedrine-containing medicines and seek urgent medical attention if they experience severe headache that develops very quickly or suddenly feel sick or are vomiting, confused or experiencing seizures or changes in vision,” reads the statement.


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