Fake paracetamol tablets penetrate local market

Fake paracetamol tablets penetrate local market

The Philippine’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned consumers against buying and ingesting fake paracetamol, specifically counterfeit 500-milligram Biogesic tablets.

fake paracetamol

Photo by the FDA

The FDA said in an advisory that United Laboratories Inc., the drug’s marketing authorization holder, had recently verified the presence of fake paracetamol in the local market.

“All healthcare professionals and the general public are hereby warned as to the availability of this counterfeit drug product in the market, which poses potential danger or injury to consumers,” the agency said.

Authentic and fake paracetamol

The authentic paracetamol and the fake paracetamol differ in tablet color, foil packaging pattern, foil material, and printed markings.

According to the FDA, authentic Biogesic tablets are lighter in color, while the fake ones are darker. So far, the FDA has warned the public to buy medicine from FDA approved drugstores and pharmacies. Also, only Biogesic is compromised, although the Philippine Store wrote in an editorial that 1 in 10 medicines in the market could be fake.

This is illegal under Philippine law. Both the importation and sale of counterfeit medicines are prohibited under Republic Act No. 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009, as well as Republic Act No. 8203, or the Special Law on Counterfeit Drugs.

fake paracetamol

Photo by the FDA

“All establishments and outlets are hereby warned against selling and dispensing of this verified counterfeit drug product with the above mentioned features,’’ the agency said.

Purging fake paracetamol

You can try inducing yourself to vomit through the following steps:

Forcing yourself to throw up

  • Wash your hands and cut your nails to avoid scratching your throat.
  • Pull your hair up (if you have long hair) to get it out of your way.
  • Choose where you’re going to vomit. It can either be in the toilet, a bucket, or one of these disposable vomit bags
  • Sit down or kneel in a way that doesn’t press your abdominal area. You don’t want extra pressure over your stomach.
  • Insert your index finger into your mouth and reach towards the back of the throat.
  • Press the finger down in the back of your throat as far as needed to trigger your gag reflex.
  • Once you start feeling nausea, remove the finger quickly. You’ll likely throw up right away.
  • If you feel nausea but can’t throw up, try once again.
  • Wash your hands after vomiting.
  • Rinse your mouth and do gargles with plain water to remove leftover stomach acid from your mouth and throat.
  • Don’t brush your teeth until 30 minutes after you throw up. Your enamel will be sensitive after coming into contact with your stomach acid.
  • If you can’t trigger your gag reflex this way, try the methods described below.

Watching other people throw up

fake paracetamol

Photo credit: World Magacy


Another quick way to induce nausea is to watch other people vomit. This can trigger a strong urge to throw up as well. You can watch videos of other people throwing up to achieve this.

If this isn’t enough to trigger your gag reflex, use your index finger as explained above.

Take Emetics

Fake paracetamol tablets penetrate local market

If you’d rather not use your finger or have almost no gag reflex, take emetics instead. Emetics are over-the-counter drugs that trigger vomiting by causing contractions in your stomach.

The most common emetic is syrup of ipecac.

However, there’s controversy over the safety of ipecac, since it can be toxic in high doses. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not to stock it at home. To prevent side effects, drink only in small amounts.

Follow these steps if you have decided to take ipecac:

  • Follow the directions on the syrup bottle.
  • Drink 1 to 2 glasses of water or 8 to 16 ounces after taking ipecac syrup.
  • If vomiting doesn’t occur within 30 minutes, repeat the dose.
  • If the second dose doesn’t work, contact your doctor immediately.

Safety information:

  • Avoid taking syrup of ipecac if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Don’t give to children under 12 years of age.
  • Ipecac syrup can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rashes, and allergic reactions.


Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

YOU CAN ALSO READ: Fake Cosmetics: Buying Them Could Ruin Your Face — Or Kill You

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