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In the Costa del Sol region of Spain, 16 children developed hypertrichosis, commonly known as “werewolf syndrome,” after ingesting medication contaminated with minoxidil, a drug used to treat alopecia by stimulating hair growth. The medication these children were given was supposed to be omeprazole, used for treating acid reflux and stomach ulcers. However, due to a manufacturing error, the batch contained minoxidil, leading to the unusual hair growth all over their bodies.

The Spanish National Ministry of Health reported that upon discovering the hair growth, parents consulted doctors, which led to the identification of the contamination. The authorities quickly recalled the affected batches of the drug from the market, impacting around 30 pharmacies and over 50 batches of medication.

The pharmaceutical company responsible for this mishap, Farma-Química Sur, had sourced the contaminated omeprazole from India. As a result, the company’s license has been suspended, preventing it from producing, importing, or distributing drugs.

Hypertrichosis, or “werewolf syndrome,” is an extremely rare genetic disorder characterized by excessive hair growth on the body and face, affecting approximately 1 in 1,000,000 people. While it does not cause physical pain, it can lead to social discrimination due to the unusual appearance it causes. Currently, there is no cure, and patients typically manage the condition through regular shaving or waxing .

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