Shocking! These globally banned cough syrups for kids are still being sold in India!

lead image

A news report says that medicines that contain codeine, a chemical derived from opium, and are banned for kids below 12 in many countries are still being sold in India as popular cough syrups

Before you go on to read the story, we insist you think hard before buying cough syrup for your child.

As per a report published in a leading daily, medicines that contain codeine, which is nothing but a chemical derived from opium, and are banned for kids below 12 in many countries, are still being sold in India as popular cough syrups such as Corex, Phensedyl, Benadryl and Teddy cough to name a few.

Codeine, the silent killer

In 2013, the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, Australia and New Zealand issued a ban on codeine-based medicines for kids below 12 and new mums after a safety review found that they had serious side-effects in kids such as including fainting, seizures and death.

Another shocking part is that most of these codeine-containing cough syrup brands do not have even a single warning on the label that warns the parents of the dangerous side effects that the chemical can have on kids and breastfeeding mothers.

Experts say that codeine is could lead to opioid poisoning in kids and adults with high metabolic rates.

“It would have been ethical for pharma companies to approach the Drug Controller General of India in 2013 after the global discovery of serious side effects. They should have also pulled out of the market then. I am intrigued to know on what basis they are defending its use,” said Dr CM Gulhati, editor, Monthly Index of Medical Specialities (MIMS) in the report.

Codeine-based cough syrups are among the 344 fixed-dose combinations (FDCs) banned by India in February which highlighted the fact that how lax regulations could lead to the circulation of harmful drugs.

However, drug companies say that they follow all existing regulations and are not at fault as India hasn't put a ban on codeine-based medicines.

“In India, our product is a prescription medicine that is approved for prescription to patients (adults and children) depending on their clinical condition. Corex has a well-established efficacy and safety profile in India for more than 30 years and has both Central and State licenses and approvals,” said a spokesperson for Pfizer, the company that manufacturers Corex.

If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the article, please share them in our Comment box below. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest from

[Image courtesy:]