At least 17 children developed so-called "werewolf syndrome" after a major medicine mix-up, Spain’s health ministry has said.
The children some of them babies, began growing hair all over their body after being given what was thought to be omeprazole, a drug that helps with gastric reflux.
After investigating, authorities discovered the treatment actually contained minoxidil, a medication used for the treatment of hair loss.
The health minister, Maria Luisa Carcedo, said on Wednesday they found that the bad batches came from a laboratory that had put this medication [minoxidil] in a container that was marked omeprazole and distributed it to pharmacies as such.
The children are now suffering from the rare condition known as hypertrichosis, which causes abnormal hair growth.
It is unclear how the laboratory FarmaQuimica Sur, a supplier of active ingredients and pharmaceuticals based in the southern city of Malaga, made the mistake, which emerged in June.
A health ministry spokesman said the 17 children affected so far were in the northern region of Cantabria, Andalusia in the south and Valencia in the east.
What Is Werewolf Syndrome?
Werewolf syndrome also referred to as Hypertrichosis, is an abnormal amount of hair growth over the body.The two distinct types of hypertrichosis are generalized hypertrichosis, which occurs over the entire body, and localized hypertrichosis, which is restricted to a certain area.Hypertrichosis can be either congenital (present at birth) or acquired later in life. The excess growth of hair occurs in areas of the skin with the exception of androgen-dependent hair of the pubic area, face, and axillary regions.