Cause of Nurofen mix-up may never be known

26th August 2011 - Fine Cut

Manufacturing errors are not being blamed for the mix-up that led to drugs used to treat Schizophrenia being inserted into boxes of painkillers, packagingnews.co.uk reports.

The discovery that Seroquel XL - prescribed to treat bi-polar depression and other anti-psychotic conditions - had been found in boxes of Nurofen Plus has led to a nationwide panic, with people who think they've taken the wrong drug being referred to their GP.

It is thought that blister packs of Seroquel XL, made by AstraZeneca, may have been accidentally and wrongly placed into the Nurofen boxes at the wholesaler and the public are being asked to check carefully.

However, the differences between the blister strips should mean that they are quickly identified. Not only are Seroquel XL tablets larger but come in a blue and gold hot foil marking, whereas the smaller painkillers are recognisable in silver and black.

Nurofen's manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser is carrying out investigations into how the mix-up occurred; however a statement released by the company absolved itself and AstraZeneca of any responsibility.

"After careful review of the manufacturing system, manufacturing errors by the makers of Nurofen Plus or Seroquel XL are not thought to be part of the cause at this stage," it read.

Rumours of sabotage have quickly been quashed, according to Metro, however the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency says the cause may not ever be known.

"Work is ongoing to obtain more information but the full facts may never be fully established," the statement concluded.

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