The Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) has announced that Nolotil is now banned for Brits in Spain, after “recent notification to the Spanish Pharmacovigilance System of cases of agranulocytosis , particularly in patients of British origin”.
I was previously prescribed Nolotil by a dentist in Lanzarote, to help with pain before and after root canal surgery. I had no ill effects, thankfully… although it was certainly one of the most effective and fast pain relievers I have ever taken.
However, it looks like I was one of the lucky ones. According to The Times newspaper in the UK, “Blood poisoning and amputation are among the agonies endured by more than 100 tourists and expatriates.”
Agranulocytosis, one of the adverse effects of Nolotil, can lower the body’s defenses in some people and promote the development of sepsis or multiple infections. It can even cause death and is thought to be responsible for the deaths of at least ten British people and at least three Irish people.
The main compound of Nolotil is metamizole, which has a powerful analgesic, antipyretic and spasmolytic effect. In case of any adverse reaction, the patient must go to a health centre immediately for a doctor to determine the cause and stop the treatment. It may be replaced by another one and/or the necessary blood tests may be performed.
In a previous official statement by the AEMPS, Nolotil should only be sold with a prescription and that the results of a previous blood test should be available to avoid its use in patients with agranulocytosis risk factors.
Nolotil is already banned in the UK, Ireland, Australia and the USA.