(Updates with details from company statement)
LONDON Aug 26 British consumer products group
Reckitt Benckiser (RB.L) said on Friday it was recalling all
its over-the-counter painkiller Nurofen Plus in the UK after
five packs were found to contain an anti-psychotic drug or an
The company said police were investigating as it was
believed someone had deliberately tampered with the packs.
"Sabotage is suspected and we are working with the police
on a formal investigation to find the person or persons
responsible," the company said in a statement.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
(MHRA) issued a safety alert saying some Nurofen Plus packs had
been found to have 50 mg tablets of AstraZeneca's (AZN.L)
schizophrenia drug Seroquel XL in them, while others contained
100 mg capsules of Pfizer's (PFE.N) epilepsy drug Neurontin.
Reckitt Benckiser said Seroquel so far had been found in
four packs of Nurofen Plus at four different pharmacies in
London, while Neurontin had been discovered in one pack of
Nurofen Plus at a pharmacy in Northern Ireland.
As well as the recall, the company said it had also halted
the distribution of Nurofen Plus in the UK.
Seroquel XL is a prescription-only drug used to treat
serious psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and
bipolar disease, while Pfizer's Neurontin is an anticonvulsant
prescribed for patients with epilepsy and severe migraine.
Nurofen Plus, manufactured in Nottingham, central England,
is a popular painkiller containing codeine that needs no
The MHRA first issued a safety alert on Thursday after
receiving reports of Seroquel XL tablets in three different
batches of Nurofen Plus. [ID:nL5E7JP33G]
Some patients reported having mistakenly taken the
Seroquel, it said. Medical experts said a single dose of
Seroquel XL was unlikely to cause major problems for a healthy
In Friday's recall alert, Ian Holloway from the MHRA's
Defective Medicines Report Centre (DMRC) said people should
check to see if they have any packets of Nurofen Plus.
"If you do, return them to your nearest pharmacy," he
(Reporting by Kate Kelland and Tim Castle; editing by Carol