France moves to suspend Vitamin D supplement after baby dies

France has moved to suspend sales of a vitamin D medication following the death of a baby who had been given the supplement, health authorities said Wednesday.

France's ANSM agency that oversees the safety of medicines and health products said it had taken the measure "as a precaution" after investigations showed "a probable link between the death and the administration of Uvesterol D".

The 10-day-old baby died on December 21 after being given Uvesterol D, which is prescribed for vitamin D deficiency among young children.

ANSM has previously issued warnings about how the supplement is administered, following cases of illness especially among premature babies and newborns under one month.

The agency said Wednesday it has now taken steps to suspend the marketing of Uvesterol D in the coming days.

Health Minister Marisol Touraine said "it is the specific way the product is administered that presents risks" rather than the vitamin itself.

In advance of a definitive decision from ANSM, she called on parents, "as a precautionary measure, to no longer administer Uvesterol D to their children".

"I want to reassure parents who have given vitamin D, in whatever form, to their children: they are safe", she said in a statement Wednesday, adding that "only Uvesterol D is concerned" by this procedure.

Uvesterol D comes in a liquid form in a vial from which the dose is extracted through a pipette.

In an email on December 30 and seen by AFP, ANSM said the baby died at home from "cardio-respiratory arrest" after receiving a dose of Uvesterol D.

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