This Medical Product Alert relates to confirmed falsified hydrochlorothiazide that has been found to contain glibenclamide instead of hydrochlorothiazide, circulating in the WHO region of Africa. Adverse effects attributed to these products have been reported. Genuine hydrochlorothiazide is used as an antihypertensive and diuretic medicine, whereas glibenclamide is an antidiabetic medicine.
In March 2019, WHO was informed by a nongovernmental organization in Cameroon that a medicine presenting as hydrochlorothiazide 50mg had caused hypoglycaemia in patients. Preliminary testing indicated that the product did not contain any of the stated active ingredient, hydrochlorothiazide, and glibenclamide had instead been identified. Verification with the stated manufacturer confirmed this product to be falsified. The local health authorities were informed of this incident.