A California company recently issued a recall of a cough syrup that reportedly contains potentially dangerous amounts of morphine. Master Herbs, Inc., a business that distributes Chinese herbs, issued the nationwide recall after realizing that the inclusion of morphine in the cough syrup was not acknowledged on product labels, meaning that consumers didn’t necessarily know they were ingesting morphine.
The recall affects stores in six states where the cough syrup is sold: New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, California, Nevada and Hawaii. The medication, which is meant to be used for temporary relief of coughing caused by colds and minor throat irritations, was available primarily in Chinese grocery stores in these states.
According to reports, morphine is an ingredient in the company’s licorice coughing liquid. This particular product is sold in 100 ml bottles. Although the label on the bottle indicates that Compound Camphor, which contains morphine, is in the medication, the actual list of ingredients on the label does not specifically mention morphine. This prompted concerns that users of the cold and flu medication might not be aware that they were consuming morphine.
The absence of any specific mention of morphine had the potential to expose the unknowing users to health risks that included “life threatening respiratory depression and death,” according to a statement issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Additional health risks posed by the cough syrup included allergic reactions by those who are hypersensitive to the opioid and worsening health conditions for young kids with respiratory illnesses.
The recall was issued voluntarily by Master Herbs, Inc. However, the FDA is aware of the recall and has been closely monitoring the situation because of the possible health risks posed by the cough syrup. Meanwhile, the California-based company that distributes the cough medication could potentially be exposed to product liability lawsuits if any users of the medicine suffer illnesses as a result of ingesting morphine.
Master Herbs, Inc. notified local distributors and customers that the recall has been issued. Any customers who have already started taking the medicine are asked to immediately stop using the product and return it to whatever store they purchased it from. Additionally, users of the product who have experienced any kind of negative health reactions should immediately contact a physician.
For further information about the recent cough syrup recall, access the Fortune.com article, “This Cough Syrup Was Recalled Because It Contains Morphine.”
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