A family member comforts a man, who has been admitted to a local hospital after consuming a cough syrup, in Gujranwala, near Lahore, Pakistan on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012. Pakistani authorities are investigating allegations that cough syrup has killed 33 people over the past three days, a government official said Saturday, the second time in recent months medicine is suspected of causing multiple deaths. — Photo by AP

LAHORE: Pakistani authorities are investigating allegations that cough syrup has killed 33 people over the past three days, a government official said Saturday, the second time in recent months medicine is suspected of causing multiple deaths.    

The deaths occurred in the eastern city of Gujranwala and nearby villages, said local official Abdul Jabbar Shaheen. Another 54 people thought to have consumed the syrup are also being treated at city hospitals. Officials believe the victims drank the syrup to get high, he added.

Tests show the victims' stomachs contained dextromethorphan, a synthetic morphine derivative used in cough syrup that can have mind-altering effects if consumed in large quantities, said Shaheen. Investigators are trying to determine if the victims drank too much syrup, or whether there was a problem with the medicine itself, he said.

Twenty-three people died in the nearby city of Lahore in November after drinking bad cough syrup sold under the brand name Tyno. They were also described at the time as people who consumed the drug to get high.

Shaheen said the cough syrup involved in the incidents in and around Gujranwala was not sold under a single brand. He said some people in the city make cough syrup to sell specifically to drug addicts, and officials are trying to arrest them.

Officials temporarily closed one Lahore-based pharmaceutical company whose cough syrup was found in the possession of some affected in Gujranwala. They are investigating whether it caused any of the deaths, said Shaheen.

More From This Section

PM orders reshuffle in bureaucracy

PM orders reshuffle in the federal bureaucracy and also approves promotion of 10 officers of IRS from Grade 20 to 21.

Police officer Shafiq Tanoli killed in Karachi explosion

Police officer Shafiq Tanoli and two others were killed in a blast near Karachi's old wholesale vegetable market.

At least 24 suspected militants killed in Khyber

The suspected militants were killed as jet fighters carried out airstrikes along with a search operation in the region.

Pemra issues show-cause notice to Geo News

Geo News administration told to submit a reply by May 6.


Comments are closed.
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
Poll
From The Newspaper
Tweets