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What is in your medicine cabinet?

written by Vidya Sury February 2, 2012

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I just read a bit of news that was somewhat shocking-scary. It relates to the biggest drug recalls of this decade  – and I found two commonly used drugs listed as recalled as recently as January 2012!
(To know more read:  what is a drug recall)
Of the eleven drugs listed, tylenol, listerine, the h1n1vaccine, Bayer’s baycol and children’s cold medicine are frequently used. If you use any of the others, I’d recommend the following:
  • Review your medicine cabinet periodically, say, once in three months to look at expiry dates and discard
  • Make a list of everything in your first aid box with use-by dates so that you know what is available and usable
  • Stick this list to the lid of the box or to the door of your medicine cabinet for your ready reference
  • Keep your first aid box and medicine cabinet out of reach of young children
  • If you have unused medicine from treatment, either return it to your pharmacy if possible or donate it, unless it is generic, and valid for years and you are likely to use it.
  • Ensure you take your full course of medication. Stopping it midway will render the course useless, especially with antibiotics
  • Thanks to the super-fast internet, you can now quickly find out if any of the drugs in your cabinet or medication prescribed by your doctor have been recalled. It is worth it to do the research
  • When you visit your doctor, be sure to carry previous prescriptions and medical reports.
Now, the quick list of recalled drugs:
  • Lo/Ovral-28 Oral contraceptives
Recall Date: January 31, 2012
Product: Lo/Ovral®-28 (norgestrel and ethinyl estradiol)Tablets and 14 lots of Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets (generic)
Company/Brand: Pfizer, Inc.
The Hazard: Pfizer voluntarily recalled 14 lots each of its brand name and generic birth control pills.
  • Excedrin, bufferin, gas-x, nodoz
Recall Date: January 8, 2012
Product: Excedrin, Bufferin, Gas-X, NoDoz
Company/Brand: Novartis
  • Lipitor
Recall Date: October 29, 2010
Product: Lipitor 40 mg
Company/Brand: Pfizer
  • Tylenol
Recall Date: May 30, 2005, December 18, 2009, January 15, 2010, April 30, 2010 and June 15, 2010, October 18, 2010
Product: Tylenol 8 Hour Caplet 50 Count, Tylenol Arthritis Pain Ez-Open Cap, Children’s Motrin, Children’s Tylenol, Benadryl, Extra Strength Tylenol, Motrin IB, Regular Strength Tylenol, Rolaids, Simply Sleep, St. Joseph Aspirin, Tylenol 8 Hour, Tylenol Arthritis, Tylenol PM, Children’s Zyrtec, Children’s Motrin
Company/Brand: McNeil Consumer Healthcare, owned by Johnson & Johnson
  • Vioxx
Recall Date: September 30, 2004
Product: Vioxx
Company/Brand: Merck & Co., Inc.
  • H1N1 vaccine
Recall Date: December 7, 2009 and December 22, 2009
Product: Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, Inc., and
Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine Live, Intranasal, manufactured by MedImmune
Company/Brand: Sanofi Pasteur and MedImmune
  • Able laboratories generic prescription drugs
Recall Date: May 23, 2005
Product: All Able Laboratories products, including generic versions of Vicodine and Tylenol with Codeine
Company Name/Brand: Able Laboratories
  • Bausch & lomb and advanced medical optics contact lens solutions
Recall Date: April 13, 2006 (ReNu) and MoisturePLUS ( May 25, 2007)
Product: ReNu MoistureLoc and Complete MoisturePLUS contact lens solutions
Company Name/Brand: Bausch & Lomb (ReNu) and Advanced Medical Optics recalled (MoisturePLUS)
  • Listerine
Recall Date: April 11, 2007
Product: Listerine Agent Cool Blue
Company Name/Brand: McNeil-PPC, Inc.
  • Bayer baycol
Recall Date: August 8, 2001
Product: Baycol
Company Name/Brand: Bayer Pharmaceutical Division
  • Children’s cold medicine
Recall Date: October 11, 2007
Product: Dimetapp Decongestant Plus Cough Infant Drops, Dimetapp Decongestant Infant Drops, Little Colds Decongestant Plus Cough, Little Colds Multi-Symptom Cold Formula, Pediacare Infant Drops Decongestant, Pediacare Infant Drops Decongestant & Cough, Pediacare Infant Dropper Decongestant, Pediacare Infant Dropper Long-Acting Cough, Pediacare Infant Dropper Decongestant & Cough, Robitussin Infant Cough DM Drops, Triaminic Infant & Toddler Thin Strips Decongestant, Triaminic Infant & Toddler Thin Strips Decongestant Plus Cough, Tylenol Concentrated Infants’ Drops Plus Cold, Tylenol Concentrated Infants’ Drops Plus Cold & Cough
Company Name/Brand: Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, McNeil, Prestige Brands, Inc., Blacksmith Brands, Inc. and Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.
Stay healthy!

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