'Purple drank' banned from pharmacies nationwide - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

'Purple drank' banned from pharmacies nationwide

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Sizzurp, purple drank and the list of nicknames for the codeine-infused cough syrup continues.

“It’s called lean on the street and basically, I don’t know, you feel like you’re leaning basically,” said Schenay Mosley, 21, who says she has never used the prescription drug.

Some of the music industry’s biggest stars have bragged about using it in their songs.

Lil Wayne’s song "Me and My Drink" hit has more than six million views on YouTube and Justin Beiber is among artists caught with some purple stuff on social media.

Nearly 15,000 people liked a picture posted on Instagram by rapper Soulja Boy. The picture shows six bottles of Actavis’ now banned cough syrup.

In a bold and unprecedented move, Actavis, the company that produces the prescription cough syrup responsible for purple drank, halted production and is taking it off shelves at pharmacies nationwide.

“They’re just pulling off the one that contains codeine and Phenergan. The Phenergan sort of dries you up if you have a cold but if you take enough of it, it adds drowsiness, maybe a slight euphoria,” said Dr. Michael Wahl, Director of the Illinois Poison Center.

In an interview with FOX 32’s Tisha Lewis, Wahl says music glamorizes prescription drug abuse.

“That is really what is driving, I think, the use of this drug and abuse,” said Wahl.

An Actavis spokesperson emailed FOX 32 News the below statement:

As a global specialty pharmaceutical company, Actavis is committed to serving as a responsible participant in the drug supply chain, and to ensuring that our products are used safely and as directed. We are dedicated to ensuring that patients receive the critical medicines they need, while helping to prevent those medicines from being misused or abused.

Recently, one of Actavis’ products — promethazine hydrochloride and codeine phosphate syrup, a prescription drug for the treatment of temporary relief of coughs and upper respiratory symptoms associated with allergy or the common cold — has gained significant attention in the media and elsewhere for its illegal recreational abuse. This attention has glamorized the unlawful and dangerous use of the product, which is contrary to its approved indication. This attention may place consumers at risk by minimizing the dangers of its misuse and abuse.

Given these significant concerns, Actavis has made the bold and unprecedented decision to cease all production and sales of its Promethazine Codeine product. While we regret the impact this will have on the consumers who rely on this medication for its intended use, we believe this is the responsible course of action, and serves as further evidence of our commitment to being a partner in the fight against prescription drug abuse.


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