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More Drugs Added to Smelly Tylenol Recall

Jul 9, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP

Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit is again expanding a recall of Tylenol and other over-the-counter medications due to a musty smell. More than 271 medications are now impacted by this recall.

The problems with musty-smelling Tylenol came to light last November, when McNeil recalled 5 lots of Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplet 100 count bottles, with the distinctive red EZ-OPEN CAP. The recall was issued after consumers complained of reports of a musty odor, which was associated with nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

That recall was expanded in December to include all lots of the Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplets. Then in January, the list of recalled drugs was expanded yet again to include various lot of Tylenol, Rolaids, Benedryl and St. Joseph’s Aspirin

According to McNeil, today’s action is a follow-up to the January recall. It includes several Tylenol formulas, including children’s Tylenol, the painkiller Motrin, and Benadryl allergy tablets. It includes products sold in the United States, Fiji, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, and Jamaica. A full list of the medications added to the recall, including lot numbers and UPC codes, can be found here. Lot numbers for the recalled products can be found on the side of the bottle label.

The foul odor is the result of contamination by a chemical called 2,4,6-tribromoanisole. The source of 2,4,6-tribromoanisole is believed to be the breakdown of a chemical used to treat wooden pallets that transport and store packaging materials that leached into the products at a company plant in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico.

These lots are being added to the list of recalled products as a precautionary measure after a continuing internal review determined that some packaging materials used in the lots had been shipped and stored on the same type of wooden pallet that was tied to the presence of TBA in earlier recalled lots. All lots involved in the recall were produced before the January 15, 2010 recall, after which McNeil stopped accepting shipments of materials from its suppliers on that type of pallet.

Consumers who purchased product from the lots included in this recall should stop using the product and contact McNeil Consumer Healthcare for instructions on a refund or replacement. For these instructions, and information regarding how to return or dispose of the product, consumers should log on to the internet at www.mcneilproductrecall.com1 or call 1-888-222-6036 (Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time, and Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time).

Consumers are advised to contact their health care provider with any medical questions or concerns.

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