Hair Loss Drug That Turned Spanish Babies Into Werewolves


It seems a hair loss drug has made its way into a medication for infants. A hair loss drug that turned Spanish babies into werewolves. We look closer.


Infant Care

Bringing up a baby is a stressful business. In the time before a baby learns to speak, parents must master the art of reading signs that their child is unwell. Whizzing them round to the doctor for a second opinion is a regular trip for many. 

The babies caught up in this story all had something in common. They had been diagnosed with indigestion. For a lot of parents that simply means slinging said baby over your shoulder and tapping its back until the wind comes out. Presumably, these babies were suffering from something slightly more acute. They were all taken to see doctors, and they were all prescribed medication.

Hair Loss Drug In The Mix

The medication the babies were all put on was omeprazole. The drug was supplied by a company called Farma-Quimica Sut and was part of a formula for babies. 

16 babies given the drug developed a condition called hypertrichosis, also known as ‘werewolf syndrome’.  It sees the sufferer sprout hair from the face, in places where hair does not normally grow. 13 mums came forward in July with another 3 in August. 

Spanish health authorities removed the formula from the market and conducted an investigation. They discovered that the formula had been manufactured in India. During the production process, it had been contaminated with another medicine used to treat alopecia. 

Hairy Future?

The good news is that the condition, when not triggered by baby formula, is extremely rare and entirely treatable. Of course, that does depend on having access to the treatment.  See this article from earlier this year in the New York Post for an interview with three Indian sisters who do not have that access. For the babies involved in this case simply stopping giving them the formula that caused the problem will see it go away. 

HIS Hair Clinic

It must have been an incredibly distressing experience for these parents. Good to know that the cure is simply stopping the tainted formula. And that Farma-Quimica Sut have had their licence suspended. 

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