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Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) yesterday issued a warning after reports that packets of the over-the-counter painkiller Nurofen Plus actually contained the anti-psychotic drug Seroquel XL, reports Reuters.Seroquel XL is a drug made by AstraZeneca that is used to treat serious psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and bipolar disease. It requires a prescription for use. Taken on its own its side effects are weight gain, rapid heart rate and blurred vision, reports Metro, but effects can be severe if taken with other medicine.
Intriguingly, Nursing In Practice reports that the packets were “cut-down blisters of Seroquel XL tablets”. According to Channel 4 News, this may be indicative of sabotage, as it implies the packs had already been dispensed.
However, the Sun’s Steve Hawkes has tweeted that all parties involved are so far denying responsibility. He notes the (pretty great) PR quote from a spokeperson for the pharmacy chain Boots: “We have no confirmation of anything happening anywhere”.
Reuters reports that though the drugs look different, two people have so far reported taking the wrong medicine as a result of the mix up.