25 Jun, 2024 @ 14:53
2 mins read

Spain issues warning to anyone who has taken Nolotil in their lifetime as Europe launches probe into painkiller linked to dozens of British deaths

AUTHORITIES in Spain have issued a warning to anyone who has EVER taken Nolotil as Europe launches investigation into the painkiller linked to dozens of expat deaths and illnesses. 

Have you been affected by Nolotil? Email us: tips@theolivepress.es

The Spanish Users and Consumers Organisation (OCU) has issued a warning to Spaniards who have taken Nolotil, the country’s most popular branded medicine. 

It comes after European health authorities begin an investigation into metamizole, Nolotil’s main ingredient, due to the risk of agranulocytosis. 

Agranulocytosis, or dangerously low white blood cell count, can cause severe infections, leading to amputations, organ failure and even death. 

READ MORE: What is Nolotil? The painkiller sold in Spain that’s been linked to dozens of British deaths

“Nolotil (or the other metamizole drugs) do have other adverse effects. Among them are some very rare, but potentially very serious ones, which lead to blood disorders that can cause death in patients. These effects have been known for a long time and are described in the package insert,” reads the OCU warning. 

“The OCU recommends that anyone who has had an allergic reaction to metamizole in the past should inform all healthcare professionals who treat them, as it is a drug that is often used both in primary care and in hospital care after surgery.”

The Finnish government pushed for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to investigate after measures introduced to control adverse side effects failed. 

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

Between 2011-2015, Finland detected 20 cases of agranulocytosis, including two deaths. 

They introduced safety measures to limit the drug but still found seven cases, among them one death, between 2021-2024. 

After the EMA’s investigation, the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) will assess the evidence gathered. 

They will review the risk of agranulocytosis in all products containing metamizole authorised in the European Union, including Nolotil. 

Currently, there are 17 metamizole products available in Spain, compared to one in Finland. 

According to anti-Nolotil campaigner, Cristina del Campo, there have been hundreds of cases showing adverse effects in Spain, including 45 deaths. 

She told the Olive Press: “The Spanish authorities keep telling me the benefits outweigh the risks but there’s hundreds more cases here than in Finland. 

“Although I’m really happy it’s finally being looked into, I have been writing to the EMA since 2017 and in those six years there have been many unnecessary deaths. It’s about time.”

Del Campo said the Finnish government have requested her research as part of the EMA investigation. 

“I want it banned in the whole of Europe and I have reason to believe it could happen. 

“All the victims and their families are very happy, this is a huge deal.” 

According to Del Campo, the result of the EMA investigation will hopefully be revealed by September this year.

READ MORE: What should I do if I’ve been given Nolotil in Spain? A guide for British and other northern Europeans on dealing with the ‘lethal’ painkiller

Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email yzabelle@theolivepress.es

1 Comment

  1. I guess I was lucky. I was hospitalized overnight and had hip surgery in one of the social hospitals. The care was excellent, the price was low. I did not know about Nolotil, and was given the medication in my drip bag. Was also prescribed Nolotil and took it for 6 weeks after the surgery. I’m American with Brittish, Scottish and German heritage.

    Thankful l was not affected, but now that I know, I am telling all doctors I am allergic. My heart goes out to all who have suffered. This needs to be removed from the market completely.

    Location : Castellon

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