Morphine tablets from generic-drug maker KV Pharmaceutical Co. are being recalled in Canada after some were found to contain too much of the painkiller. Consumers shouldn’t use the tables, ratio-Morphine SR, in 15 milligram, 30 milligram or 60 milligram doses, Health Canada said in a statement distributed by Market Wire. No reports of harm to patients had been received as of June 30th, the Ottawa-based agency said. An overdose of morphine, used to treat moderate or severe pain by modifying the senses, can cause slow breathing, fainting and loss of consciousness.
Health Canada (which is like the FDA in the U.S.) didn’t say how much extra morphine was in the recalled medicine. Nilufer Guleyupoglu, a doctor at Beth Israel Medical Center’s pain medicine department in New York, observed:
It depends how many milligrams they’re off by and what kind of patients were exposed to it. If it’s double the amount of morphine, it can be toxic for patients who haven’t been exposed to opioids before.
The drug distributor Ratiopharm began the recall after KV, based in St. Louis, received two separate complaints, Health Canada said. The statement didn’t say where Ratiopharm is based or whether it’s connected with the German company by that name.
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