Canada Global (Web News) The risk of possibly fatal allergic reactions in patients receiving general anaesthesia justifies a ban on cough medications containing the chemical pholcodine, the European Union’s drug watchdog concluded on Friday.
Pholcodine-containing medications, which are used to treat dry coughs in adults and children, should no longer be sold, according to the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
According to the Amsterdam-based watchdog, “use of pholcodine in the 12 months before to general anaesthesia… is a risk factor for developing an allergic reaction” to muscle relaxants in the anaesthetic.
A “sudden, severe, and potentially fatal allergic reaction” is anaphylactic shock, it was added.
It was announced that the chemical-containing medications were “being pulled from the EU market and will no longer be available by prescription or over-the-counter.”
Since the 1950s, pholcodine with an opioid basis has been used as a cough suppressant.
Currently, the EU nations of Belgium, Croatia, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and Slovenia have approved the sale of medications containing the substance under the brand names Dimetane, Biocalyptol, and Broncalene.