The FDA is warning consumers who purchase Diazepam, an anti-anxiety medication, on the internet of the potential risk that this drug may be counterfeit. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported 700 adverse events from patients in Central Africa taking mislabeled Diazepam that was actually the anti-psychotic drug, Haloperidol. The patients who mistakenly took Haloperidol suffered acute contractions of the muscles of the face, neck and tongue (dystonia).
While it has not been confirmed that the counterfeit Diazepam in Africa was purchased online and FDA has no confirmed reports that these counterfeit products have entered the United States, FDA advises consumers who purchased Diazepam online to check if the pills they received are authentic. The counterfeit tablets are light yellow in color, scored across the center of the tablet on one side and bear the letters AGOG on the other side.
If you purchased Diazepam and it fits this tablet description, do not use it. FDA recommends consumers go to www.fda.gov/BeSafeRx to learn about the risks of buying prescription drugs online, the signs of a fake or illegal online pharmacy, and how to buy prescription drugs safely online. Beware of online pharmacies that:
- Allow you to buy drugs without a prescription from your doctor
- Offer deep discounts or cheap prices that seem too good to be true
- Send spam or unsolicited email offering cheap drugs
- Are located outside of the United States
- Are not licensed in the United States
Health care professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products and from where they were purchased to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:
- Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report
- Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178