Medication Mix-Up Leaves 17 Children Suffering From ‘Werewolf Syndrome’
by Meilan Solly Smithsonian.com
This summer, more than a dozen parents across Spain noticed unusually high amounts of hair appearing all over their children’s bodies. Now, Oriol Güell reports for El País, authorities have identified the culprit behind this unexpected growth spurt. As the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS) confirmed earlier this month, the 17 individuals affected developed hypertrichosis—a condition colloquially dubbed “werewolf syndrome”—after taking anti-baldness medication mislabeled as acid reflux treatment.
Speaking with Güell, Ángela Selles, a mother whose son had at least two bottles of syrup containing the anti-hair loss drug, says her six-month-old’s “forehead, cheeks, arms and legs, hands became covered in hair.” She adds, “He had the eyebrows of an adult. It was very scary because we didn’t know what was happening to him.”
According to Agence France-Presse, the outbreak stemmed from a mix-up at the Farma-Química Sur laboratory in Málaga. As health minister Maria Luisa Carcedo explained to reporters Wednesday, staff accidentally put minoxidil—the active ingredient in Rogaine—into containers marked as the heartburn treatment omeprazole. These mislabeled drugs were then distributed to pharmacies, where they were prepared as syrups for specific patients.
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.
She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with her husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescues.