How to spot fake paracetamol, local FDA lists down signs

January 7, 2022 - 7:23 PM
Stock photo of paracetamol. (Biogesic/Facebook)

The Food and Drug Administration‘s advisory on how to spot counterfeit medicines circulated on Facebook anew following the rise in demand for Paracetamol brands.

Pharmacist and TikTok creator Arshie Larga was among those who shared it online, accompanied by a video about it.

Since last week, local social media was replete with posts about the lack of supply of common cough, colds and fever medications in nearby pharmacies and stores.

Pharmaceutical company Unilab also informed its customers that some of its partner stores are experiencing a shortage of their products.

READ: ‘Out of stock’ paracetamol supplies in pharmacies? DOH, DTI deny reported shortage 

Following such demand, Larga warned about people taking advantage of the situation and selling fake drugs.

He cited Biogesic as among the products with imitations.

“Mag-ingat sa mga kumakalat na pekeng gamut,” he said in a tweet on January 5.

“Paano malalaman kung peke ang gamot? (In this case, Pekeng Biogesic),” he added.

Larga attached a link to the FDA’s warning about counterfeit drugs.

In the video, he demonstrated how to tell the fake Biogesic from the real one.

Larga noted that authentic tablets have diamond patterns and labels are clearly written.

At the end of the clip, he encouraged the public to purchase drugs in FDA-approved stores only.

“Hindi lang po Biogesic ang pinepeke. Maging ibang sikat na brands ng gamot ay pinepeke narin. Kelangan maging mapanuri po tayo sa mga binibili nating gamot. At para maiwasan pong maging biktima ng pekeng gamot, bumili lamang sa lisensyadong botika,” Larga said.

Some social media users also re-shared the FDA Advisory No.2021-3535 titled “Public Health Warning against the Purchase and Use of the following Verified Counterfeit Drug Products.”

State regulators released this on Facebook last December.

In the advisory, FDA listed the brands of medications that have verified fake versions.

It also showed photos of the authentic drugs and the fraudulent ones.

  1. Phenylephrine HCl / Chlorphenamine Maleate / Paracetamol (Neozep® Forte)
  2. Ibuprofen / Paracetamol (Alaxan® FR)
    3. Mefenamic Acid (Gardan®)
    4. Phenylephrine HCl / Chlorphenamine Maleate / Paracetamol (Bioflu®)
    5. Paracetamol (Biogesic®)
    6. Phenylpropanolamine HCl / Chlorphenamine Maleate
    Paracetamol (Decolgen® Forte)
    7. Carbocisteine (Solmux®)
    8. Dextromethorphan HBr / Phenylpropanolamine HCl / Paracetamol (Tuseran® Forte)

Unilab also shared an infographic that showed how to verify the authenticity of Biogesic products.

It advised its customers to immediately report anyone selling fake Biogesic tablets in the market.

“Remain vigilant and buy your healthcare products only from trusted drugstores and retailers!” Unilab said.