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Are multivitamins effective in treating poor vision?

Q: My doctor prescribed me multivitamin and multi mineral syrup for my 5 and a half-year-old child for his poor vision. I bought two bottles of the syrup from two different places at different times. The labels of two bottles do not agree totally. Following is the information labelled on the respective bottles:

First Bottle

Brand Name: Cadbe
Mfg. Lic. No.: MB/05/268
Batch No.: CDS/6005C
Mfg. date: Aug 2006-12-05
Exp. Date: Jan 2008
Retail price: 58.50 + L.T.E.
Extra information: “Cadbe” is also written in Hindi
Address: Cachet Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd, village-Thana, Baddi, Dist.-Solan, Himachal Pradesh – 173 205. H.O.: 415 Shah Nahar, Worli, Mumbai-400 018

Second Bottle

Brand Name: Cadbe
Mfg. Lic. No.: KD-604 A
Batch No.: CDS/6008T
Mfg. date: 03/06
Exp. Date: 08/07
Retail price: 58.50
Extra information: “Cadbe” is written only in English. Also tonic was leaking slightly from the lid-seal
Address: Cachet Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd, at: C-6/1, MIDC, Taloja-410 208. H.O.: 415 Shah Nahar, Worli, Mumbai-400 018

What is the genuineness of the above bottles? Should I write to the company?

A:You have not defined poor vision. Does it mean that the child needs glasses? Or does it mean that even with glasses, the child cannot see clearly? If it is the latter case, you should consult a good ophthalmologist. In the former case, an optician (optometrist) can be helpful. In the absence of clear diagnosis, I am unable to comment on the medication. Cadbe is a vitamin/mineral supplement and is highly unlikely to be useful for poor vision. Vitamin/mineral supplements are not routinely required since they can lead to side effects. For example unnecessary calcium intake can lead to kidney stones. In other cases such as B-complex factors, the excess amount is cleared via kidney (urine) and reaches the sewerage. The only benefit is to manufacturer. Such supplements should be taken only when there is documented, proven deficiency of a specific agent. Even in that case only the specific, deficient vitamin or mineral is to be taken and not a polypill. A large number of drug manufacturers in India not only produce medicines themselves but also get it done from other companies on loan licence basis. Still others have manufacturing facilities at multiple locations. It is unlikely that any of the bottles that you have bought contains fake medicines. General statement on selection of brands: There are scores, sometimes hundreds, of brands of the same medicine. Against about 300 pharmaceutical manufacturers in western countries like Britain, there are over 20,000 producers in India that market more than 40,000 brands. Most manufacturers do not have quality-testing laboratories. Hence selection of brands is important. Many companies give incentives to prescribers to patronise their products. Patients should check the reputation of manufacturers before consuming medicines.

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