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Odd Odor Prompts Tylenol Arthritis Caplet Recall

Dec 29, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

All product lots of Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplet 100 count bottles, with the distinctive red EZ-OPEN CAP have been recalled by Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit.  Consumers have reported that some bottles of the recalled Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplets emit an odd, moldy smell.  The bottles with these odors have been associated with  nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

This is an expansion of a recall McNeil issued in  November.  At that time, five lots of the Tylenol Arthitis Pain Caplets were recalled. According to a notice posted on the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Web site, the original recall is being expanded as a precautionary measure.

A list of the lots included in this recall can be found here. The affected Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplet 100 count product lot numbers can be found on the side of the bottle label.

Only the Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplet 100’s with the distinctive red EZ-OPEN CAP are affected by this action. All other Tylenol Arthritis Pain products remain commercially available. McNeil Consumer Healthcare said it will reintroduce the Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplet 100 count product by January, 2010 after moving production to a new facility

According to McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the uncharacteristic smell associated with recalled Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplets is caused by the presence of trace amounts of 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. The health effects of this compound have not been well studied, but McNeil said that so far, to date all of the reported adverse reactions have been temporary and non-serious.

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