Tylenol and Motrin recall

May 1, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, as I pulled a bottle of Children’s Motrin out of my medicine cabinet, I noticed that the orangish liquid inside was cloudy, partially separated (foamy lighter orange at the top and darker orange at the bottom), and just, well, not what I had seen so many times before.  Instead of giving my child a dose for his fever, I set it aside and gave him Children’s Tylenol instead.  After I soothed him to sleep, I contacted the company, stating that the bottle was just … not right, and they should know.  They asked me to send it in in a mailer that they’d send out, and I agreed.

As so often happens, other concerns overtook this one, but the bottle was still out (of reach) when the mailer came.  I snagged the coupon, put the bottle in the mailer, and didn’t think of it again — until I saw this announcement:

Johnson & Johnson and McNeil are recalling all nonexpired liquid Children’s Motrin, Children’s Tylenol, Infant’s Motrin, and Infant’s Tylenoll.

Put it aside.  Don’t use it.  They’re not clear about what we should do with it, exactly, but for now, all parents should take a moment and check their bottles for the lot number (the number on the bottle just above the word “Motrin” or “Tylenol”), and, if it matches a number on the press release, please don’t give it to your kids.  Put it out of reach.  As the company says, it could contain “a higher concentration of active ingredient than is specified; others may contain inactive ingredients that may not meet internal testing requirements; and others may contain tiny particles.”

Not cool, J&J.

But you know what is cool?  The fact that they take the trouble to respond to consumer concerns (like mine), test the liquids that are sent back, and put out these voluntary recalls when there are concerns about some of the manufactured medicines.


Tylenol Recall

September 27, 2009

A press release this week announced that Tylenol has recalled some batches of its chidren’s and infant liquid pain relievers, made between April 2008 and June 2008.  The good news is that the issue, a contaminated inactive ingredient that did not make it into the final product, is not one likely to cause serious harm, according to the manufacturer.  The company also has clearly released specific lot numbers that may be affected, so that concerned mothers and fathers can check bottles that they may still have at home.

What I can’t get over, a day after I first heard about this, is why the announcement is being made 17 months after manufacture of this product.  What IF the children’s medicine had been affected, and caused illness?  What about all the children and infants who had been given the medicine by well-intentioned parents in the meantime?

Clearly, I need to understand FDA and product safety standards better, because I just can’t let this go.  Why did it take so long to announce a potential contaminant in children’s medication?