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"Bad" Anti-malarial pills kill one, sicken dozens

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  • "Bad" Anti-malarial pills kill one, sicken dozens

    Archive Number 20090706.2431
    Published Date 06-JUL-2009
    Subject PRO/EDR> Malaria drug, adverse events - India: RFI

    ************************************************** ***********
    A ProMED-mail post
    ProMED-mail is a program of the
    International Society for Infectious Diseases

    Date: Mon 6 Jul 2009
    Source: Yahoo News - India [edited]

    Tablets distributed by the district health department in a
    malaria-prone area have created havoc in Chiplun Taluk, and the
    tablets have been recalled and collected by the health department for
    investigative tests in government laboratories. One person died after
    consuming anti-malaria tablets supplied by the health department last
    [5 Jul 2009] night.

    From the same area, 39 others who consumed tablets have also been
    admitted to Dadar primary healthcare centre [PHC] for vomiting and
    drowsiness; 2 persons from the villages died of malaria infections in
    the last week of June 2009.

    The health department declared Akale, Kadwad, Tiware, Tiwadi, Rictoli,
    Kalkawanwali and Nandiwase villages as malaria-prone areas and started
    distributing chloroquine phosphate and primaquine tablets in the area.
    Yesterday [5 Jul 2009] in Akale camp, 64 patients suspected to have
    infections were given the tablets. Among them, 39 patients faced
    serious problems with vomiting and have been admitted to the PHC.

    Communicated by:
    ProMED-mail <>

    [Chloroquine phosphate is a very well known drug, and although nausea
    and vomiting may be seen after administration, especially in children,
    drowsiness is not a known adverse reaction. Therefore, the unexpected
    adverse reaction could be due to the drug being substandard. A recent
    study on the quality of drugs in India found that 12 percent of drugs
    sampled in Delhi and 5 percent of drugs sampled in Chennai were
    substandard: (Bate R et al. Pilot study of essential drug quality in
    two major cities in India. PLoS One 2009 Jun 23;4(6):e6003). - Mod.EP]

    [The drugs could also have been inadvertently contaminated with some
    toxic substance. - Mod.JW]

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