Potentially Deadly Drug for Children Sold in Chinese Pharmacies

November 10, 2011 Updated: November 13, 2011
A drug store in China. (The Eng Koon/AFP/Getty Images)

China’s state-run media reported in February that a drug used for reducing fever could lead to death in children. Yet, it is still available in many pharmacies in China.

CCTV reported that children taking nimesulide may have adverse reactions that may include death. Medical experts have cautioned the public that when children have a fever, the drug should be used with great care. It can damage the central nervous system and the liver of children; many cases like that have happened.

A netizen posted on China’s micro-blog Weibo.com that the drug for children is now still on the shelves of many pharmacies. It reportedly has not been approved for children’s use in the United States and the EU has banned its use by children under the age of 12.

The Epoch Times called pharmacies in the Beijing, Shanghai, Liaoning, and Hubei areas. Some drugstores in Shenyang and Shanghai are waiting for notices from local authorities to pull nimesulide from the shelf. They are still selling it as an effective drug for reducing fevers, but claiming that they do not recommend it to clients with its sale only being made upon request.

One drugstore in Hubei states the drug has been taken off the shelf. The “Pharmacy Net” says their nimesulide is only for adult use, in a box of 10 lozenge-shaped tablets, costing 19.8 yuan (US$3.12).

Drug stores at Beijing’s Chaoyang District say nimesulide for children has mostly been pulled off the shelves.

According to a shop clerk at Shenzhen, no notice has been received to pull the drug off the shelf.

A north China news portal (liaoning.nen.com.cn) reported on Nov. 4 that its reporter visited drug stores at Shenyang and found nimesulide in tablets exclusively for children’s use. Most of the products are lacking labels to warn consumers of the side effects for children and of the restrictions of use for children under certain age.

Read the original Chinese article.