EMA pulls an opi­oid from the 1950s used to treat dry cough

The Eu­ro­pean Med­i­cines Agency said Fri­day that it’s pulling from all Eu­ro­pean mar­kets phol­co­dine-con­tain­ing med­i­cines, which are an opi­oid used in adults and chil­dren for the treat­ment of dry cough and in com­bo with oth­er drugs as a treat­ment for cold and flu.

The de­ci­sion to pull the med­i­cines comes as the EMA points to the re­sults from the re­cent ALPHO study, which show that use of phol­co­dine dur­ing the 12 months pre­ced­ing anes­the­sia is linked to a risk of an ana­phy­lac­tic re­ac­tion re­lat­ed to the neu­ro­mus­cu­lar block­ing agents (NM­BAs) used (with an ad­just­ed OR of 4.2, and a 95% con­fi­dence in­ter­val of 2.5 to 6.9).

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