Sixteen children have developed ‘werewolf syndrome’ after taking contaminated medicine in
The infants have hypertrichosis – hair growth throughout their bodies – after taking a formula tainted with minoxidil, an alopecia remedy.
The Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products ordered that several batches from Farma-Química Sur SL, a Malaga-based pharmaceuticals company, be taken out of circulation on July 11.
The babies were given tainted omeprazole, used to treat acid reflux and indigestion, as part of a formula.
File photo of an Indian schoolboy with hypertrichosis (left) and a file photo of a Mexican man with the same condition (right)
Health sources told
Parents have been advised to seek medical help if their child has been given the formula and check with their pharmacy if they have purchased an affected lot.
The Spanish agency pulled a first batch off the market last month when 13 cases were reported.
Another three reports were made at the start of this month and another batch of Farma-Química Sur’s medicine was pulled from pharmacy shelves.
Officials believe the contamination could have affected up to 30 Andalusian pharmacies and more than 50 batches of the drug.
Farma-Química Sur has had its licence suspended and cannot manufacture, import or distribute drugs.
The pharmaceuticals company has a supplier in India and it is reported by
Spanish authorities say that the issue is isolated to the formulas for children and that adults taking omeprazole capsules should not worry about developing ‘werewolf syndrome.’
What is ‘werewolf syndrome’?
Hypertrichosis is the term used for the growth of hair on any part of the body in excess of the amount usually present in persons of the same age, race, and sex.
It is a very rare condition which patients are either born with or develop later in life.
It excludes excessive hair caused by abnormally high levels of male hormones.
Throughout history those afflicted have been a source of great interest and they have performed in travelling circuses and freak shows.
A Nepalese mother and her children with hypertrichosis, also known as ‘werewolf syndrome’ (file photo)
Excessive hair may cause cosmetic embarrassment, resulting in a significant emotional burden.
Treatment options are limited, and the results of therapy not always satisfactory.
No single method of hair removal is appropriate for all body locations or patients, and the one adopted will depend on the character, area, and amount of hair growth, as well as on the age of the patient, and their personal preference.
Treatment methods include cosmetic procedures, bleaching, trimming, shaving, plucking, waxing, chemical depilatories, electrosurgical epilation, and hair removal using light sources and lasers.
Laser-assisted hair removal is the most efficient method of long-term hair removal currently available.