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2 More Leukemia Drugs in Risk Probe Suspended
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China's drug watchdog has suspended sales of two more batches of methotrexate made by Shanghai Hualian Pharmaceutical as it continues its month-long investigation of the drug.

Methotrexate, an effective drug often used to treat acute leukemia and rheumatoid arthritis, could have side effects of headache and minor paralysis.

The State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) suspended sales of the methotrexate batches numbered 070405B and 070502B because of potential risks to users.

The drug made by Shanghai Huanlian caused adverse reactions in several child leukemia patients in three hospitals of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Shanghai early this month.

Some of the children felt pain in their legs and some experienced difficulty in walking after being injected with the drug from batches numbered 070403A and 070403B which have since been suspended.

SFDA deputy director Wu Zhen promised to keep the public informed about the state of the investigation after the watchdog announced the first suspension.

The SFDA has ordered the local food and drug administrations in Guangxi and Shanghai to reevaluate the drugs.

According to WHO statistics, there have been 12,502 reports of adverse reactions to methotrexate worldwide.

(Xinhua News Agency August 1, 2007)

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