Deadly Painkiller Nolotil Still Being Prescribed In Spain Despite Ban

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Published:  15 Apr at 6 PM
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British and Irish expats living on the Costa del Sol as well as tourists are still at risk of receiving the deadly drug know to have caused deaths from sepsis combined with rapid falls in white blood cells.

Following last year’s campaign by a leading English language expat newspaper, Nolotil was finally banned in all Spanish hospitals and clinics unless patients were made aware of the risks and given the option of another painkiller. The drug can be tolerated by some patients, but proves lethal for others. The newspaper revealed Novotil, now banned not only in Spain but in many European countries including the UK, had been given as a drip to British patient Keith Caldwell at Malaga’s CHIP private hospital following a gall bladder operation.

Fortunately, Keith’s wife Sylvia recognised the painkiller’s name and was aware of its dangers, although she was shocked when she realised he’d already been given two bottles via a drip. She was already aware the drug doesn’t affect everyone, but told reporters the fact it was still being prescribed was very worrying. Cristina Garcia del Capo, the medical translator who first raised public awareness of Nolotil’s dangers, said the fatalities were mostly British patients with an unidentified genetic peculiarity indicated by fair hair and pale skin.

She expressed her concern that the drug is still being prescribed in local hospitals, telling reporters she’s aware its use is still common and British and Irish expats as well as tourists are not being told about its possibly fatal effects. She believes deaths due to Nolotil will continue until it’s totally banned. The issue, first brought to light last year by del Campo and the Olive Press newspaper, involved hundreds of cases, many of which had proved fatal.

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