Jakarta. Indonesian health authorities on Thursday announced the recall of five brands of syrups containing chemicals above the safe limit, over concerns that the use of liquid medicines may have contributed to the growing number of kidney failures in children.
The Food and Medicines Supervisory Agency, or BPOM, said these syrups contain ethylene glycol (EG) and diethylene glycol (DEG) at a level that is unsafe for humans.
The agency said in a statement that it conducted sample tests on 26 syrup drugs suspected of being contaminated with EG and DEG and found them in five brands.
“The BPOM is directing producers to recall these drugs to the public,” the agency said.
The five brands include:
1. fever syrup Termorex Syrup made by Konimex
2. cough syrup Flurin DMP Syrup made by Yarindo Farmatama
3. cough syrup Unibebi cough syrup manufactured by Universal Pharmaceutical Industries
4. fever syrup Unibebi Demam Syrup manufactured by Universal Pharmaceutical Industries
5. fever syrup Unibebi Demam Drops manufactured by Universal Pharmaceutical Industries
The BPOM has stated that the majority of syrups available on the market today remain safe for consumption.
The announcement came a day after the Department of Health revealed that there had been 206 cases of kidney failure in children, including 99 deaths in the past 10 months.
The ministry also bans the sale of syrups “until further notice” from the government.
Despite the reminder, the BPOM admitted that it had not come to the conclusion that the syrups had links to the rising cases of kidney failure in children.
“There are a number of risk factors that can cause acute kidney injury such as viral infection, leptospirosis and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children linked to Covid-19,” the agency said.