Falsified alprazolam found in Australia

Australia’s medicines regulator has warned that counterfeit versions of anxiety medicine alprazolam have been discovered that “pose a serious risk to…health.”

The Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) warns that samples of alprazolam 2mg bearing Mylan’s logo and Kalma 2mg tablets – the latter a brand name for another alprazolam product sold by the generic drugmaker in Australia – have been found on testing to be falsified.

“Counterfeit Alprazolam 2mg tablets and Kalma 2 tablets may contain a range of undeclared substances in different combinations and dosages,” according to the TGA alert.

“Undeclared substances that may be present include etizolam, cyproheptadine, promethazine, flubromazepam, amantadine and MMTMP.”

Last year, data from a Scottish test purchasing study found that counterfeit versions of Xanax - another alprazolam brand - were responsible for an epidemic of overdose deaths. On testing they were found to contain etizolam.

Another study found that etizolam was more commonly associated with fatalities than fentanyl, which has previously been found commonly in fake Xanax, particularly in North America.

The TGA says it is working with the Australian Border Force (ABF) to help stop any future shipments of counterfeit alprazolam tablets from entering Australia. If these tablets are found at the border by the ABF they will be seized and destroyed.

Further images of the counterfeit and genuine products are available here.

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