No reports of adverse effects or deaths associated with cough syrup use among children in Brunei have been received, the Ministry of Health (MoH) stated.
The ministry said it is aware of reports of deaths among children in The Gambia and Indonesia due to acute kidney injury linked to four cough syrups manufactured by Maiden Pharmaceuticals.
The cough syrups have not been imported into the country and are not available for sale in the local market.
The MoH announced this in a press release following a global alert issued by the World Health Organization over the syrups believed to contain unacceptable amounts of toxic chemicals diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol linked to the deaths of 66 children in The Gambia.
The four cough syrups are Promethazine Oral Solution BP, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup, all manufactured by Maiden Pharmaceuticals in India.
It is mandatory for medicinal products to be registered with the Brunei Darussalam Medicines Control Authority (BDMCA) prior to use in the country.
Complete documents must be submitted to ensure they have met international standards of quality, safety and efficacy before they can be approved and imported. The four affected cough syrups are not registered with the BDMCA.
However, members of the public who have supplies of the affected cough syrups are advised to stop using them and dispose them immediately.
The public should highlight healthcare providers if they experience adverse reactions or side effects following the use of any cough medication and to seek advice from doctors or pharmacists if they have any concerns.
Based on the current available information, the MoH has concluded that there is no need to suspend the sale of all cough syrups in the country.
The MoH will continue to monitor the global situation on cough syrups.