Published: Fri, August 30, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Babies develop 'werewolf syndrome’ after medicine mix-up in Spain

Babies develop 'werewolf syndrome’ after medicine mix-up in Spain

The babies were given tainted omeprazole, used to treat acid reflux and indigestion, as part of a formula.

Health sources told El Pais it was noted that when the children stopped taking the medicine their hair growth subsided. Parents said they were alarmed when their children suddenly began to grow thick hair all over their bodies.

Several batches of the drug have been taken out of circulation from Farma-Química Sur SL by Spanish medics at the Agency of Medicines and Health Products.

The youngsters developed the werewolf-like excess hair growth all over their bodies, known as hypertrichosis, after taking medicine for gastroesophageal reflux, a muscle condition where stomach acid passes back into the gullet. They had taken a medication that contained a drug they didn't expect. However, it was being administered to the children orally because parents thought it was omeprazole syrup. Although some cases are relatively mild, it can result in long hair growing all over the body and face, hence the nickname "werewolf syndrome".

At least seventeen cases have been reported across the country in Cantabria, northern Spain and Valencia and Andalusia in the south of the country. He had an adult's eyebrows.

"It was very scary because we didn't know what was happening to him", she said.

Carcedo says the drugs have been pulled from the market, and the lab, FarmaQuimica Sur, has been closed as a precaution. Was it genetic? A metabolic disorder?

Babies contract 'werewolf syndrome' from tainted formula

According to AEMPS, the formula was being sold to pharmacies across Spain by a pharmaceutical firm, Farma-Quimica Sur, based in the southern Spanish city of Malaga.

Parents have been told the symptoms should improve in a matter of weeks and the excess hair will fall out.

The company has a supplier in India from where it purchased the formulation, and AEMPS confirmed that the shipment arrived from India.

Photos show her son, Uriel, with a fine down on his arms and back. Those affected can be born with the condition or develop it later in life.

The syndrome is medically known as hypertrichosis, a condition characterized by an abnormal amount of hair growth.

Laser-assisted hair removal is the most efficient method of long-term hair removal now available.

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