16 children develop ‘werewolf syndrome’ after taking contaminated medication on Spain’s Costa del Sol


Sixteen children have developed ‘werewolf syndrome’ after taking contaminated medicine in Spain.

The infants have hypertrichosis – hair growth throughout their bodies – after taking a formula tainted with minoxidil, an alopecia remedy.

The Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products ordered that several batches from Farma-Química Sur SL, a Malaga-based pharmaceuticals company, be taken out of circulation on July 11.

The babies were given tainted omeprazole, used to treat acid reflux and indigestion, as part of a formula. 

File photo of an Indian schoolboy with hypertrichosis (left) and a file photo of a Mexican man with the same condition (right)

Health sources told El Pais it was noted that when the children stopped taking the medicine their hair growth subsided.


Parents have been advised to seek medical help if their child has been given the formula and check with their pharmacy if they have purchased an affected lot. 

The Spanish agency pulled a first batch off the market last month when 13 cases were reported.

Another three reports were made at the start of this month and another batch of Farma-Química Sur’s medicine was pulled from pharmacy shelves.

Officials believe the contamination could have affected up to 30 Andalusian pharmacies and more than 50 batches of the drug.

Farma-Química Sur has had its licence suspended and cannot manufacture, import or distribute drugs.

The pharmaceuticals company has a supplier in India and it is reported by Granada Hoy, the contamination was made at source.

Spanish authorities say that the issue is isolated to the formulas for children and that adults taking omeprazole capsules should not worry about developing ‘werewolf syndrome.’

According to Global News, once children stop taking the contaminated medicine, they should see a reversal of any hypertrichosis symptoms.

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