Painkiller packs contain stronger drug

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Thousands of packs of an over-the-counter painkiller could contain higher-strength tablets that are only available on prescription, a Government health watchdog has warned.

Some packs in a 40,000-strong batch of co-codamol 8mg/500mg-strength tablets manufactured by Wockhardt UK Ltd have been found to contain the higher strength co-codamol 30mg/500mg product, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said.

A manufacturing error is suspected, but an investigation has begun. The MHRA has issued a drug alert to healthcare professionals and Wockhardt UK Ltd is co-ordinating the recall of the affected batch.

Those who have bought blister packets of the popular painkiller can identify the different strengths by checking their markings.

The batch number is LL11701 with an expiry date of September 2014, first distributed last December.