This site is intended for health professionals only

Nurofen Plus mix-up sparks investigation

A safety alert has been issued after antipsychotic drugs were found in packs of Nurofen Plus.

The Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) received a report from consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser (UK) claiming three of its clients had come across rogue Seroquel XL 50mg tablets in three different batches of Nurofen Plus.

Such Nurofen Plus packs only contained rogue 'cut-down blisters of Seroquel XL tablets' and no Nurofen Plus tablets were present.

Batch numbers affected are:

    •    Batch 13JJ - Expiry date 03/2014. Product licence no - 00327 / 0082. First distributed - 30 April 2011.
    •    Batch 57JJ - Expiry date - 05/2014. Product licence no - 00063 / 0376. First distributed - 21 June 2011.
    •    Batch 49JJ - Expiry date - 05/2014. Product licence no - 00063 / 0376. First distributed - 1 July 2011

People who accidentally take Seroquel - used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar depression - may experience sleepiness.

The MRHC does not believe that manufacturing errors are to be the cause of the mix-up at this stage but it claimed it is possible that these problems are linked to product consolidation and/or erroneous examination of returns.

"Work is ongoing to obtain more information but the full facts may never be fully established," said the MRHC.

Although there are marked visual differences between the two products, Seroquel XL being the larger of the two with gold and black packaging rather than Nurofen Plus' silver and black - two patients mistakenly took Seroquel XL instead of Nurofen Plus tablets

PCTs, GPs and patients are all requested to remain vigilant about this issue and have been requested to report any further cases or additional concerns promptly to the MHRC's defective medicines report centre (DMRC).

The Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency