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Cough Syrup Recalled Because It Contains Morphine

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A cough syrup manufactured in China and sold in California is being pulled from store shelves because it contains morphine.

The makers of Master Herbs Cough Syrup have issued a voluntary recall of their 'Licorice Coughing Liquid.'

The Food and Drug Administration discovered the over-the-counter medication has morphine, but it is not not listed as an ingredient on the label.

Morphine is an opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain. It can be habit forming, even at regular doses, and has been known to slow, or stop breathing.

The makers of Master Herbs said in China small amounts of morphine are sometimes used in medication, and it is safe.

Health experts in America disagree about the narcotic.

"We attempt to avoid handing out narcotics to people because we see the outcomes of it," said Dr. Lisa McAfee at Pomona Valley Hospital. "It a cough syrup our specific concern is respiratory depression, apnea and symptions that can lead to seizures and death."

The FDA said Master Herbs was distributed to Chinese grocery stores in several states including California. People who bought it should return it to the store, or throw it out.

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