Two die after consuming homoeopathic cocktail


Nagpur (Maharashtra) : A lethal combination of a homoeopathic tonic and alcoholic drinks has claimed at least two lives and impaired the vision of five people here and in nearby Bhadravati in the past three days.

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One of the two persons who died Friday at a private hospital in Chandrapur, 160 km from here, was a homoeopath. While two of his three friends who consumed the cocktail are in a critical condition, the third is recovering, doctors treating them said.

The homoeopath, Mahendra Gundawar, had apparently consumed a homoeopathic tonic called “Satis-F” in combination with some alcoholic drink regularly for a fortnight before taking ill, medical practitioner Kuber Kotpalliwar told IANS.

Manufactured by Indore-based Allen Pharma and recently introduced in the local market, the formulation containing 44 percent alcohol is sold in retail in 30 ml bottles but is available to practitioners and wholesalers in packs of 100ml and 400 ml, homoeopath Sanjay Tambe said.

“Gundawar also consumed ‘Homiagra’, which is supposed to be an equivalent of Viagra,” Kotpalliwar said.

Satis-F is a general restorative tonic and an appetiser meant for treating neurasthenia (a psychological disorder characterised by chronic fatigue and weakness), fatigue and sleeplessness,” he added.

A young man who died at Avanti Hospital here the same day and two others being treated there, too, had consumed a homoeopathic tonic mixed with an alcoholic drink, hospital director Uday Mahorkar told IANS.

“Their vision is impaired and the blood has turned acidic,” Mahorkar said, pointing to a strong possibility of the cocktail containing methyl alcohol rather than ethyl alcohol.

While methyl alcohol, prohibited for human consumption, is used in paints and polish, medicines and drinks contain ethyl alcohol.

State Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) joint commissioner Sudhir Dahate told IANS that his men have collected samples of Satis-F for analysis.

“We will prohibit its sale if the tonic is found to contain methyl alcohol,” he said.

The police too have collected the samples and will have them analysed, Additional Commissioner of Police Bhushan Kumar Upadhyay told IANS.

While homoeopath Parse ruled out the possibility of the tonic, even in its overdose, causing death, Tambe took strong exception to the drug containing large percentage of alcohol being available in packs bigger than 30 ml in contravention of Supreme Court guidelines.