Many products have tested positive for etizolam instead of the expected alprazolam. Other drugs have also been detected in the counterfeit products, which can be very harmful.
The counterfeit products are labelled with the brand names Xanax or Mylan which are not sold through Australian pharmacies. There are also reports of counterfeit versions of the Australian brand Kalma 2mg.
NSW Health has notified the Therapeutic Goods Administration of these counterfeit medications, who have issued their own safety warning.
NSW Poisons Information Centre clinical director Professor Andrew Dawson said the packaging and tablets are cleverly copied to look like prescription pharmaceutical brands.
“We are urging people to only buy from registered Australian pharmacies,” Professor Dawson said.
“We have seen a doubling in calls about alprazolam to the NSW Poisons Information Centre just in the past two months.”
Find the latest public drug warnings for NSW
If you have taken a tablet purchased online or from the street and are experiencing side effects, call Triple Zero (000) immediately or seek urgent medical attention.
Anyone who has concerns about these tablets or adverse effects from benzodiazepines should contact the NSW Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 for confidential advice.