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FDA Recalls and Medicine Safety

Posted By Regan Zambri & Long || 3-Jun-2010

Over the weekend, four PediaCare brands of children’s medicines became the most recent additions to a string of recalls stemming from Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil plant in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Four PediaCare products joined the long list of child and infant liquid formulations of Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec, and Benadryl that had previously been recalled.

According to WebMD, the newly recalled PediaCare brands are as follows:
    * PediaCare Multi-Symptom Cold 4oz. UPC # 3 0045-0556-05 9
    * PediaCare Long Acting Cough 4oz. UPC# 3 0045-0465-04 7
    * PediaCare Decongestant 4oz. UPC# 3 0045-0554-04 8
    * PediaCare Allergy and Cold 4oz. UPC# 3 0045-0552-04 4

To see the complete list of Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec, and Benadryl products involved in the original recall, or to request a refund online, see McNeil’s recall page. The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) explanation of the recall can be found here, or in a helpful PDF brochure.

As a general rule, remember never to give children medicine without first consulting a pediatrician.

Additionally, remember to review your medicine cabinet on a regular basis, disposing of any expired, damaged, or contaminated medications. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services sets forth the following guidelines for safe disposal of pharmaceuticals:

  • "Pour medicine into a sealable plastic bag.
  • If the medicine is a solid, add a small amount of water to dissolve it.
  • Add any undesirable substance (such as dirt, coffee grounds or kitty litter) to the liquid medicine in the plastic bag.
  • Seal the bag and immediately dispose of it in the trash for regular pick-up.
  • Use marker to black out any personal contact information on the empty medicine container prior to disposing of it in the trash."

Do NOT flush medicine down the toilet unless accompanying product information instructs that it is safe to do so.

For more information on medication disposal, see a previous posting from Regan Zambri & Long. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also provides more comprehensive information here.

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