Morphine presence sparks cough syrup recall

Master Herbs recallCalifornian company Master Herbs is recalling all lots of a cough syrup product because it contains the opioid drug morphine, according to the US FDA.

The Licorice Coughing Liquid product - in 100ml bottles - contains compound camphor which includes opioids, said the agency in a recall notice. While compound camphor is listed on the label its ingredients - including the opioid - are not.

Consumers using this product may not be aware they are ingesting morphine, notes the FDA, so they may be at risk of life-threatening respiratory depression and death. The product is promoted for the temporary relief of cough due to cold, minor throat and bronchial irritations.

Furthermore, there is a risk that patients who are hypersensitive to morphine could suffer severe allergic reactions, and young children with a respiratory illness are vulnerable to respiratory depression from opioids and should not be exposed to morphine.

"Master Herbs is not aware of adverse events associated with use of the product," said the statement.

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