Three deaths linked to talc suspensions prepared in Dutch hospital pharmacies

Three patients died this spring after treatment with talc suspensions prepared in hospital pharmacies. According to the side effects center Lareb, side effects of the medication “may have played a role” in their deaths. As a precaution, these self-prepared products will no longer be used.

Talc suspensions are used, among other things, to treat patients with collapsed lungs. In March and April of this year, Lareb received six reports of people developing severe complaints after using two variants of the suspension. They were prepared in two hospital pharmacies. Lareb did not say where.

The patients developed respiratory problems and inflammation reactions within a day of treatment. Three of them died. The others were “recovered or recovering.”

Talc suspensions are known to sometimes cause serious reactions, but according to the side effects center, “there seems to be an increase that cannot be explained.” Lareb cannot rule out that something changed in the raw materials used by hospital pharmacies.

People who were previously treated with the substance don’t need to worry, Lareb said. The symptoms in question occur soon after use and not only after a long period.

The association of hospital pharmacists has informed all hospital pharmacies about the potential problems with the self-prepared suspensions. The Health and Youth Care Inspectorate is also aware of the matter.

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