Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Children's Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, and Zyrtec Recall!

As some of you may have already heard, McNeill is recalling several products including Children's Tylenol, Motrin, and Benadryl. My husband already blogged about this at his site. Click here if you want more information on this.  Here is the CNN article as well.

I think the crazy thing is that these are well known brands being recalled and they are made in the United States (not China)!

Last night we went through our medicine cabinet and found around 3 bottles of tylenol and 2 bottles of motrin. My husband called the contact number (888-222-6036) and was told that we'd get vouchers to buy new products and we're to throw away the ones we currently have. What a pain!

So on the McNeil website, it says:

McNeil Consumer Healthcare is initiating this voluntary recall because some of these products may not meet required quality standards. This recall is not being undertaken on the basis of adverse medical events.

However, as a precautionary measure, parents and caregivers should not administer these products to their children.

Well, too late. I have already given these products to my child since this has been a pretty sick winter. So as a mom, this is aggravating because of course you want what is best for your child and it is never fun to find out that you might have given a product that potentially could be harmful.  As a physician this is also problematic because I recommend tylenol, motrin, and/or benadryl to my pediatric patients all the time! They are supposed to be safe for infants and safe for breastfeeding. Well, I suppose the telephone calls and parent inquiries will start flooding our office as soon as this news is out.

Now looking at it from the other perspective... at least there are quality standards. I think sometimes we take things for granted in this country. We're always expecting the best outcomes with zero side effects. Nothing wrong with that per se but there are so many things not in our control. At the end of the day, we have to trust that organizations like the FDA is put there to watch out for our best interest. This is why I think it is pretty brave and risky to take a ton of herbal supplements that don't get put through the same kind of scrutiny. But that is another topic for another post...

So if you happen to have some tylenol, motrin, benadryl etc sitting in your cabinet and not sure if you are affected by the recall you should check out these websites:

1)  FDA Press Release
2)  McNeil Product Recall Information

Give them a call or email. There may be a super long wait time. You can contact your physician as well.  They will probably direct you to the websites above or to call the hotline.

At the end of the day, I'm sure my daughter will be fine even though I've already given her who knows how much of the tylenol and motrin that is being recalled.  I assume they are fixing the issue and future products will meet the standards.

I suppose you can buy alternatives like Children's Advil by Wyeth instead of Motrin or Rite Aid brand Children's Acetaminophen instead of the brand Children's Tylenol... but who knows if they may get recalled in the future.

So it is what it is...