Warning after two die from 'fake' anti-epileptic medication and sleeping pills

·2 min read
A hospital sign in London, giving directions towards the emergency department.
Police have issued a drugs warning following the deaths of two people. (Getty)

Police have issued a drugs warning following the deaths of two people and the hospitalisation of two others when they possibly took fake anti-epileptic medication and sleeping pills.

The four people were taken ill in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, over the last 48 hours.

West Yorkshire Police said the deaths are not currently being treated as suspicious and could relate to the misuse of zopiclone and pregabalin.

Zopiclone is a prescription-only drug that comes in pill or liquid form and is often used to help with insomnia.

Pregabalin is a medication used to treat epilepsy, pain associated with the brain, and generalized anxiety disorder.

One of the hospitalised people, who was known to one of the deceased, is receiving treatment after admitting to taking an overdose of zopiclone, police added.

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Police siren flashing blue lights at accident or crime scene
Police have advised people to contact their GPs if they're concerned about their medicine. (Getty)

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Police said in a statement: “It is possible that these people have been using counterfeit medication, which is believed to look identical to the genuine products.

“Mixing medication can increase the likelihood of an overdose and for this reason, it is important people only take medication which is prescribed to them by a medical professional and dispensed at a pharmacy.

“Anyone with any concerns over the medication they have been prescribed is advised to contact their GP.

“Anyone using medication who is being supported by the Drug and Alcohol Service is similarly advised to contact their support worker.”

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