Parents plan to sue pharmaceutical company after children in Spain grow abnormal body hair
Parents in Spain whose babies and toddlers developed abnormal body hair plan to sue a company that put a hair loss treatment into containers meant for a medicine, a mother of one of the children said.
Spanish health authorities have blamed the packaging mix-up involving the topical treatment minoxidil and omeprazole syrup, which is used for stomach problems, on Farma-Quimica Sur.
At least 20 children, ranging from newborns to two-year-olds, have been affected, Spain’s Health Ministry said.
The mislabelled medicine was recalled in July and the company has been closed down until an investigation into the error is completed.
The mother of one of the children, a 10-month-old baby, said families were preparing to file a joint lawsuit against Farma-Quimica Sur.
Angela Martinez said the family doctor prescribed omeprazole syrup in January to treat her son Uriel’s acidy stomach.
Her baby began growing darker hair in March, about a month after she gave him the syrup, she said.
By early April, Uriel had hair covering almost all his body except for the abdomen and parts of his hands and feet.
She questioned why the first concerns were reported in April, but authorities did not recall the medicine until July.
“Had he not grown hair, we would have probably continued to give him the syrup,” said Ms Martinez.
At least two other families in southern Spain confirmed they would take legal action.
Spanish Health Minister Maria Luisa Carcedo said all mislabelled batches had been removed from the market.
Although some of the babies are already losing the excess hair and experts have said all of it should fall out eventually, some families were also warned of possible long-term side effects.
Spain’s drug agency, AEMPS, said minoxidil’s ability to widen blood vessels could impact the children’s hearts, kidneys and livers in the future.