The Namibia Medicine Regulatory Council (NMRC) has withdrawn some cough medicines containing pholcodine due to an increased risk of perioperative anaphylaxis on the Namibian market.


Health experts say there is a very rare chance that some people could experience an allergic reaction linked to an ingredient called pholcodine. There is also an increased risk of sudden, severe, and life-threatening allergic reactions occurring during patient surgery.


According to the NMRC, an ALPHO case-control study was conducted by the European Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee to assess the relationship between pholcodine exposure and neuromuscular blocking agents related to anaphylaxis.


The findings identified the use of pholcodine 12 months before general anaesthesia with neuromuscular blocking agents as a leading cause of developing an anaphylactic reaction.


The Office of the Registrar of Medicines has urged all marketing authorization holders, importers, and healthcare professionals to withdraw and quarantine all pholcodine-containing products, suspend the prescribing, issuance, or sale of pholcodine-containing products, and consider alternative options to treat patient symptoms.


Furthermore, patients are advised to stop taking pholcodine-containing products with immediate effect.


Medicines containing pholcodine include (source:


Boots Night Cough Relief Oral Solution, PL 00014/0230

Boots Dry Cough Syrup 6 Years+

Boots Day Cold & Flu Relief Oral Solution

Cofsed Linctus

Care Pholcodine 5mg/5ml Oral Solution Sugar Free

Galenphol Linctus

Galenphol Paediatric Linctus

Galenphol Strong Linctus

Covonia Dry Cough Sugar Free Formula

Pholcodine Linctus Bells Healthcare 5mg Per 5ml Oral Solution

Numark Pholcodine 5mg per 5ml Oral Solution

Well Pharmaceuticals Pholcodine 5mg per 5ml Oral Solution

Superdrug Pholcodine Linctus BP

Pholcodine Linctus BP

Strong Pholcodine Linctus BP

Haleon Day & Night Nurse Capsules

Haleon Day Nurse Capsules

Haleon Day Nurse



Vanessa Ndjitaviua