An inquest was told today that a rare allergic reaction to a drug which is commonly prescribed for stomach disorders caused the death of a 48-year old Mayo woman in August last year.

The hearing into the death of mother-of-four Amanda Niland of Mountain, Aughamore, Ballyhaunis returned an open verdict, with the Coroner for Mayo Patrick O'Connor calling on the manufacturers to carry out a detailed analysis into the potential side effects of the drug Colofac.

The deceased woman's husband Damien Niland gave evidence that, on 16th August last, his wife had been at the doctor and was prescribed medication, and she took a tablet that evening after dinner.

In a statement read to the inquest, he explained that Amanda's body started to itch, her lips went white and started to swell and she could not get her breath.

He said it was the first time his wife had taken Colofac, and the itching started just minutes after taking the first tablet.

After CPR, Mrs Niland was rushed by ambulance to Mayo University Hospital where she later died.

Consultant pathologist Dr Tamas Nemeth, who carried out a post-mortem, said the anaphylactic shock which caused Mrs Niland's death, was most likely caused by Colofac.

Dr Nemeth agreed with the coroner that the drug manufacturer should be asked to investigate further the side effects of this medication.

The pathologist added that, in his opinion, death was due to unnatural causes.

In his post-mortem report, the pathologist said any allergic reaction to Colofac was extremely unusual, and the medication was readily available on prescription.

The Coroner Mr O'Connor said a detailed analysis should be carried out into the side effects of this drug, as the public needed to be advised of any dangers, and said "something must be learned from this".

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