Claim: Viral message on WhatsApp claims doctors in Lagos said taking Panadol with carbonated drinks kills.
Verdict: False! The post was first circulated in 2016, and the doctor issued a disclaimer about not being involved in the article.
We often see messages circulating on WhatsApp and other social media platforms signed with the names of famous personalities or experts in a field.
Recently, a post has been circulating in different WhatsApp groups, warning people against using carbonated drinks to take panadol. The writer claimed a young politician died after taking 7up with Panadol. The message also appeared to be endorsed by notable doctors in the state.
The message was shared with us by one of our readers for verification. The personalities involved made us verify it.
To verify the claim’s veracity, we did a keyword search and saw that it was recurring. The claim was found to have been posted earlier on the Nairaland blog in 2016. Further investigation shows that a Facebook user posted the same narrative on June 22, 2021.
We investigated the names mentioned in the story and found that the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos chapter, had issued a disclaimer on the issue in 2020 in The Sun Newspaper. The disclaimer allegedly signed by the NMA president, Francis Faduyile, said none of the purported doctors mentioned in the report had anything to do with it.
“This is to inform the public that none of those doctors have anything to do with this write-up, and the content of the write-up is UNVERIFIED.”
Babafemi Thomas, one of the doctors mentioned, noted that he was unaware of such a circular and had not met any other doctors listed in the article.
“‘I, Dr Babafemi Thomas, wish to dissociate myself from this circulating document posted. It’s a scam. I do not know any of the listed doctors in this document, and we never met,” Mr Thomas said.
Lagos University Teaching Hospital spokesperson Kelechi Otuneme dissociated the institution from the report, saying it has no connection with the hospital.
On whether drugs can be taken with carbonated drinks, Rajni Pathak, Co-ordinator of Preventive Health Check, Fortis Hospital Mohali, explained how most soft drinks and tea are acidic.
Carbonated drinks, when combined with certain medicines, can lead to allergies or adverse effects in some patients. Hence, soft drinks should be avoided altogether. Soft drinks also restrict the absorption of iron. So, consuming iron supplements with soft drinks is bad.
Juices and other drinks can also reduce the effect of medications on your body, thereby making them ineffective and slowing down the recovery process.
This claim is recurring as it has surfaced online at different times. The National Medical Association also denied endorsing the post, even though some medical experts do not recommend using carbonated drinks with medications.