Kenya, Nigeria recall cough syrup from SA


A day after Nigeria’s Food and Drug Administration (Nafdac) recalled Benylin cough syrup for children, Kenya’s government issued the same notice.

This cough syrup is produced in South Africa by Kenvue. The Benylin brand used to be owned by Johnson & Johnson before it, along with the rest of the company’s consumer business, started trading in a separate entity called Kenvue since last August.

According to Nafdac, laboratory tests found the product contained unacceptably high levels of diethylene glycol.

Benylin cough syrup for children is prescribed for the relief of cough and a tight chest. It is also used for hay fever and other allergic conditions in children between two and 12 years of age.

The recalled product was manufactured in Retreat, Cape Town in May 2021. The expiry date is April 2024 with batch number 329304.

“Diethylene glycol is toxic to humans when ingested and can be fatal,” said a statement by Nafdac. “Symptoms include stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, inability to urinate, headache, altered mental status and acute kidney problems that can lead to death.”

Nafdac requests anyone in possession of the product in question to immediately stop using or selling it and submit the product to the nearest Nafdac office.

A spokesperson for Kenvue told News24 that the company is in discussions with Nafdac to obtain more information while the company’s own assessment continues, including verifying the authenticity of the product in question and checking the testing methodology.