16 Jun, 2024 @ 12:38
1 min read

European Medicines Agency begins review of Nolotil, the painkiller blamed in Spain for dozens of expat deaths

THE European Medicines Agency (EMA) has begun a process to review the safety of metamizol, a painkiller that is sold in Spain under the brand name Nolotil and has been blamed for dozens of expat deaths.

“EMA has started a review of medicines containing the painkiller metamizole following concerns that the measures in place to minimise the known risk of agranulocytosis may not be effective enough,” the agency said in a statement released on Friday. 

Agranulocytosis is a known side effect of medicines that contain metamizol, and involves a sudden and sharp decrease in a type of white blood cell. The condition can lead to serious infections, which can be fatal. 

The drug is known to have potentially deadly side effects for Northern Europeans. 

Read more: EXCLUSIVE: Nolotil killed our mum in Spain after she was given the drug for a slipped disc in Benidorm – this is how we sued and WON

Nolotil campaigner Cristina del Campo.

The Olive Press is currently running a campaign to ensure that Nolotil is only given on short-term prescriptions and should not be prescribed to North European patients, nor anyone from the United States, Australia and New Zealand. 

We have collected the testimony of a series of families who lost loved ones after they were prescribed Nolotil in Spain. 

Yvonne Flowers had been living in Spain for 23 years when she suffered an accident, and was prescribed Nolotil while in hospital and later died. Her family successfully sued the Hospital Clinica Benidorm for negligence and received a payout of more than €400,000.

In December of last year, a 42-year-old father from the UK died in Alicante after he took Nolotil for a shoulder injury. 

As well as the Olive Press, the Association of Drug Affected Patients (ADAF) has also been campaigning for greater restrictions on the drug.

The ADAF, which was founded by campaigner Cristina del Campo, believes that Nolotil is responsible for at least 47 deaths, 37 of which involved British and Irish expats in Spain. 

The review by the EMA was started after a request by the Finnish medicines agency. Once the committee responsible for the evaluation of safety issues for human medicines completes its research, it will make a set of recommendations. 

You can sign the ‘Olive Press’ petition calling on health facilities to not give Nolotil to Northern European patients here.

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