Texas officials are investigating several over-the-counterfeit medications falsely advertised as antibiotics and warning people to avoid these fakes.

Doctors in an Austin hospital reported that several children were given these products by their parents, prompting the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to issue a warning and open an investigation.

Ampitrexyl

May 2, 2011 – Texas officials are investigating several over-the-counterfeit medications falsely advertised as antibiotics and warning people to avoid these fakes.

Doctors in an Austin hospital reported that several children were given these products by their parents, prompting the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to issue a warning and open an investigation.

The products are sold as dietary supplements under names such as Amoxilina, Pentrexcilina, Ampitrexyl, Citricillin, Amoximiel and Pentreximil. Product labeling falsely suggests to consumers that they are prescription antibiotics, reports the Texas Department of State Health Services.

DSHS said the products are marketed primarily to Spanish speaking consumers with the packaging labeled in Spanish and English. The agency says the names of the products are similar to well-known antibiotics such as Amoxicillin, reported The Associated Press.

In addition to the similar name and labeling, they are packaged as capsules, syrups, ointments and other forms, like real antibiotics and are primarily distributed to small independent stores that serve Hispanic communities, reported The Examiner.

Before 2010, Mexico allowed the over-the-counter sale of antibiotics, without a prescription. Jorge Navarro, a spokesperson for the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission, urged Mexicans to stay away from non-prescribed antibiotics. “Mexicans can go to the health services at our consulates,” he added.

Carrie Williams of DSHS said they are working with the Food and Drug Administration to find the source of the products and the extent of distribution nationally.

“We are in the very beginning of the investigation,” Williams said. At this point, the DSHS is not sure whether the products are dangerous. Williams said that it is imperative to get prompt treatment for illnesses that requires antibiotics; delaying treatment may cause complications.

By S. Imber