DRAP issues alert for ‘poisonous’ cough syrup containing propylene glycol

ISLAMABAD – Pakistani authorities issued rapid alert after the detection of toxic compounds in raw materials used for cough syrup production.

Reports in local media said the toxic ingredients were identified in specific batch of raw materials imported from Thailand. After the shocking revelation, Drug Regulatory Authority Of Pakistan (DRAP) directed the company to recall cough syrup from other batches.

In its alert, it said batch, identified as C815N30R41, contains toxic substances in the imported raw material propylene glycol. 

The development comes amid concerns that toxic propylene glycol in cough syrups might be linked to the deaths of over 300 children in Indonesia, Gambia, and Uzbekistan.

WHO sounds alarm and linked deaths with cough syrups produced in India, and in other countries. The drug authority is now looking into the entire supply chain of the contaminated solvent and has ordered the recall of products made from the same batch.


Dow Chemical, Thailand did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The move comes as authorities have identified toxic propylene glycol used in cough syrups as a possible reason for the deaths of more than 300 children in Indonesia, Gambia and Uzbekistan since 2022.

The World Health Organization has linked the deaths outside Indonesia to cough syrups made in India.

“The Regulatory field force has taken possession of a contaminated batch of Propylene Glycol and is investigating the entire supply chain of this batch,” Pakistan’s drug authority said in an alert, ordering the recall from local and export markets of any products manufactured from the same batch of propylene glycol.

India firm denies tampering with tests in probe of cough syrup deaths

“The batch was labelled as manufactured by Dow Chemical, Thailand,” it said.

“On analysis of a sample by the Central Drug Laboratory in Karachi, an unacceptable level of Ethylene Glycol was found,” which can lead to serious health risks, the drug authority said.


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