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Aspartame in 81 children's medicines

The controversial additive aspartame is contained in 81 medicines which may be used by children and young people. Green MP Sue Kedgley said that the New Zealand Minister of Health has confirmed Medsafe has approved a total of 124 medicines which contain aspartame.

Ms Kedgley stated: "There should be a requirement that the word 'aspartame' appear prominently on the label, along with a warning statement that it has been linked to a range of adverse reactions." Ms Kedgley is also calling on Medsafe to put pressure on pharmaceutical companies to reformulate their products, and in the meantime ensure medicines containing aspartame are clearly labelled with a warning so parents are aware of its presence and potential for side effects.

Aspartame is not always clearly identified on many labels, because in New Zealand medicines and dietary supplements do not have to be labelled with their ingredients. We therefore reproduce a list of the brandnames. Not all the medicines in a particular brand will contain aspartame – look for 'sugar-free', also 'chewable' and 'effervescent'. One reason why manufacturers use aspartame in so many products is because it is cheaper than sugar, as well as being addictive. (For a full list of the 81 medicines containing aspartame, see below.) If you are not sure whether a medicine you are giving your child contains aspartame, ask the pharmacist.

Amcal Lozenges, Augmentin, Berocca, Cellcept, Children's Panadol, Chlorvescent, Claramax, Curam, E-Mycin, Gastrolyte, Gaviscon, Glycoprep, Imodium Melts, Konsyl, Lemsip, Metamucil, Moxlin, Mucilax, Nucolox, Nurofen, Orelox, Ospamox, Panadol, Paracotene, Phenergan, PicoPrep, Redoxon, Singulair, Synermox, Synermox, Guardian Lozenges, Vicks Lozenges, Videx, Vitaplus, Voltfast, Zyvox.

Action alert: Contact the manufacturer and ask them not to use aspartame or other artificial sweeteners in the medicine (or dietary supplement, chewing gum, sports drinks, and many other sugar free products).

Source: Green Party media release 1/10/07

Full list of 81 medicines containing aspartame

    The approved medicines which contain aspartame and have dosage instructions for children and/or young people are:

  • Anti-inflammatory Lozenges - Menthol and Eucalyptus Flavour Lozenge Amcal
  • Anti-inflammatory Lozenges - Raspberry Flavour Lozenge Amcal
  • Augmentin Duo 200 Powder for oral suspension
  • Augmentin Duo 400 Powder for oral suspension
  • Augmentin ES Powder for oral suspension 600mg/42.9mg per 5mL
  • Augmentin Forte Powder for oral suspension 250
  • Augmentin Powder for oral suspension 125
  • Berocca Performance Effervescent tablet
  • Berocca Performance Effervescent tablet Original Flavour and Tropical Flavour
  • Cellcept Powder for oral suspension 200mg/mL
  • Children's Panadol 7+ Years Soluble tablet 250mg
  • Chlorvescent Effervescent tablet
  • Claramax Reditabs Tablet 5mg
  • Curam Powder for oral suspension 125mg, 31.25mg/5mL and 250mg, 62.5mg/5mL
  • E-Mycin Granules for oral suspension 200mg/5mL and 400mg/5mL
  • Gastrolyte Powder Sachets Powder for oral solution fruit flavour and natural flavour
  • Gastrolyte Pre-Mix Oral solution
  • Gastrolyte-R Powder
  • Gaviscon Chewable tablet 80mg/250mg/133.5mg – lemon flavour and peppermint flavour
  • Gaviscon Cool Chewable tablet Cool Peppermint
  • Gaviscon Double Strength Chewable tablet 160mg/500mg/267mg – lemon flavour and peppermint flavour
  • Glycoprep-C Powder 6%w/w
  • Imodium Melts Orodispersible tablet 2mg
  • Konsyl Orange (Sugar Free) powder Powder for oral solution 60.3%
  • Lemsip Cold & Flu Hot Drink Powder for oral solution 500mg Lemon & Menthol flavour
  • Lemsip Cold & Flu Hot Drink Powder for oral solution Lemon flavour
  • Lemsip Max Cold & Flu + Chesty Cough Powder for oral solution
  • Lemsip Max Cold & Flu Direct Blackcurrant Oral granules and Lemon Oral granules
  • Lemsip Max Cold & Flu Hot Drink Powder for oral suspension 1,000mg Lemon flavour and blackcurrant flavour
  • Lemsip Max Cold & Flu with Decongestant Hot Drink Powder for oral solution Lemon flavour and Blackcurrant flavour
  • Lemsip Max Flu Lemon Powder for oral solution
  • Metamucil Lemon Lime Smooth Powder for oral solution 3.4g/dose
  • Metamucil Orange Flavour Smooth Texture Powder for oral solution 3.4g/dose (sachet)
  • Metamucil Orange Smooth Powder for oral solution 3.4g/dose (Jar)
  • Moxlin Sugar Free Powder for oral suspension 125mg/5mL and 250mg/5mL
  • Mucilax Powder for oral suspension 3g/dose (Orange flavour)
  • Nucolox Powder for oral suspension
  • Nurofen For Children Meltlets Orodispersible tablet 100mg Strawberry Flavour
  • Nurofen Meltlets Orodispersible tablet 200mg – lemon flavour and mint flavour
  • Orelox Granules for oral suspension 40mg/5mL
  • Ospamox Powder for oral suspension 100mg/mL, 125mg/5mL, 250mg/5mL
  • Panadol Cold & Flu Citrus Effervescent tablet 500mg
  • Panadol Rapid Soluble tablet 500mg
  • Paracotene Effervescent tablet 500mg/8mg
  • Phenergan Elixir 5mg/5mL
  • PicoPrep Powder for oral solution 0.64mg/g
  • Redoxon Double Action Chewable tablet
  • Redoxon Double Action Effervescent tablet 1000mg/10mg
  • Singulair Chewable tablet 4mg and 5mg
  • Synermox Syrup 125 Powder for oral suspension
  • Synermox Syrup 250 Powder for oral suspension
  • Throat Lozenges - Menthol and Eucalyptus Flavour Lozenge Guardian
  • Throat Lozenges - Raspberry Flavour Lozenge Guardian
  • Vicks Vital Lemon Throat Lozenge and Orange Throat Lozenge
  • Videx Chewable/dispersible tablet 25mg, 50mg, 100mg and 150 mg
  • Videx Chewable/dispersible tablet 25mg, 50mg, 100mg, 150mg and 200mg (mandarin orange)
  • Vitaplus B Plus Effervescent tablet
  • Voltfast Powder for oral solution 50mg
  • Zyvox Granules for oral suspension 20mg/mL

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