The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is aware of a batch of fake, contaminated Sensodyne Original and Sensodyne Mint 50ml toothpaste tubes containing toxic levels of the chemical called diethylene glycol.
Laboratory tests also indicate that there is no active ingredient present.
It must be stressed that this product should not be found in legitimate retail outlets such as supermarkets, pharmacies and general stores. The vast majority of people will not be affected as the fake toothpaste is expected to have been sold through unauthorised suppliers, for example markets or car boot sales. The fake toothpastes are in combined Arabic and English livery with a batch code ?PROD 07 2005 / EXP 08 / 2008?. Genuine GlaxoSmithKline Sensodyne packs are in English livery only with no Arabic text.
The MHRA has issued a drug alert and if people have toothpaste from this batch they should stop using it, discard it and buy a replacement from an authorised stockist. At present there is no evidence of people having any adverse reactions to the fake batch of toothpaste.
MHRA enquiries are continuing.
This incident comes on the back of a recent MHRA warning against buying medicines from unreliable or illegal sources, such as market stalls or car boot sales, as the quality and origin of the medicines cannot be verified.
Genuine Sensodyne Original toothpaste has the Product Licence (PL) number 0036/5011 and is supplied in tubes of 45ml and 75ml. Genuine Sensodyne Mint has the PL number 0079/0225 and is supplied in tubes of 45ml and 75ml, plus a 100ml pump pack. Both the genuine Sensodyne Original and the fake toothpaste have a pink paste. There is a colour difference for the Sensodyne Mint. The genuine toothpaste has a white paste and the fake toothpaste has a green paste.