As many as 70 patients infected with black fungus or mucormycosis were reported to have suffered adverse reactions after they were administered Amphotericin-B in two medical colleges in Madhya Pradesh over two days.
The first such case was reported on Saturday evening from Bundelkhand Medical College (BMC) of Sagar district where 25 patients of the 42 that are being treated for black fungus began vomiting and developed mild fever and shivering, soon after they were injected with Amphotericin-B, an antifungal drug used in mucormycosis treatment.
BMC public relations officer, Umesh Patel while talking to The Indian Express noted that the stock of around 350 injections of Amphotericin-B was received a day earlier from the state government in Bhopal. He added that it was the first dose of the new stock which was given to the patients on Saturday evening which caused the ill effects after which the injections were stopped.
However, on Sunday evening, around set of 50 mucormycosis patients undergoing treatment in Jabalpur Medical College which received the same stock of injections developed adverse reactions after receiving the first dose of the drug at 4 pm.
Talking to The Indian Express, officials said that following the incidents the patients were stabilized while the stock of injections supplied by the MP government for treatment was sent back. The officials attributed the adverse reactions to a change in the formation of the drug being supplied to medical colleges and hospitals.
Dr Kavita Sachdeva, who heads the mucormycosis ward at Jabalpur Medical College, told The Indian Express that upon learning about the cases in Sagar district she realized the same faulty batch of Amphotericin-B was administered to patients at her facility but by the time she tried to stop, already 50 of them were injected.
Akash Tripathi, Commissioner of Health said in a statement that all three forms of the drug, liposomal (liquid form), lypholized (powdered form) and emulsion form was supplied to medical colleges despite its acute shortage in the market.
He added that tolerance to the powdered form is much lower compared to the liquid form, which was earlier supplied to hospitals.
‘It is advisable to watch out for adverse reactions when using the powdered form,’ advised Tripathi who also revealed that at present the state has around 3,500 stocks of Liposomal Amphotericin-B (liquid form) which will be distributed to hospitals subsequently.
Meanwhile, Congress has taken up this matter and has called for an inquiry into the incident. They have accused the Shivraj Chouhan led BJP government of providing substandard medicines to the affected patients. Congress spokesperson, Bhupendra Gupta has also threatened to stage a protest if timely action is not taken by the state machinery.
The state has reported a total of 1,056 active mucormycosis cases so far. Saturday was the second consecutive day when less than 800 new Covid-19 cases were reported in Madhya Pradesh taking the count of Covid patients in the state so far to 7,84,461.