Over-the-counter kids' medicines recalled

Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse  January 15, 2010 03:45 PM

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Parents, go take a look in your medicine cabinets right now: McNeil Consumer Healthcare has announced a recall of many popular over-the-counter medications for kids, including some versions of Motrin, St. Joseph's baby aspirin, and Tylenol.

According to the press release, consumers had noticed "an unusual moldy, musty, or mildew-like odor" that caused temporary nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. All of the reactions were non-life threatening; the FDA has posted a complete list of recalled medications here.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the problem was caused by "the presence of trace amounts of a chemical called 2,4,6-tribromoanisole (TBA)" caused by the breaking down of a chemical used to treat the wood pallets used to store and transport the medicine's packing material.

Spokesman Marc Boston said that the chemical is linked to the packing material and not to the medications themselves. The recall, which is voluntary, does not affect generic medications, he confirmed.

This PDF has the lot numbers and UPC codes of the medicines affected by the recall, but the products include Children's Motrin caplets and chewables, Children's Tylenol meltaways, Extra-Strength Tylenol caplets and EZ tabs, Rolaids chewables, Benadryl tablets, and St. Joseph's aspirin chewables and tablets.

Check your labels, parents, and if you have any with codes that match the ones on the list, stop using the product and contact McNeil Consumer Healthcare for a refund or replacement (log on to www.mcneilproductrecall.com or call 1-888-222-6036 Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time, and Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time). Be patient... it might take a while to get through.

Lylah M. Alphonse is a Globe staff member and mom and stepmom to five kids. She writes about juggling career and parenthood at The 36-Hour Day and blogs at Write. Edit. Repeat. E-mail her at lalphonse@globe.com.

 

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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6 comments so far...
  1. It seems like every time I turn around, a product which I place my trust in is getting recalled. When is this country going to get its butt in gear and prohibit companies from using anything remotely toxic near the products we use in our bodies and households. It's time to put our safety before the almightly dollar. I'm really frustrated. Just a few months ago, there was a massive Tylenol recall. What's next. Don't drink the water. Oops, quite a few towns already had this problem this year.

    Posted by Sarah January 15, 10 04:27 PM
  1. I always buy generic medicines for my kids, but this is bad.

    Posted by Duke Nukem January 15, 10 04:32 PM
  1. I'm a little worried because I am now 15 weeks pregnant and I've been taking Tylenol (the one pain killer that is supposed to be safe for me) since I was 6 weeks pregnant to help deal with caffeine headaches while I was trying to quit drinking soda and coffee because the caffeine is bad for the baby. Now what I'm wondering is, is the Tylenol going to end screwing up my baby. I will be calling my doctor on Monday to ask questions. Whats really sad was that I was unaware of this recall tell I was WalMart trying to buy some more and the pharmacist told me that it was recalled and she wasn't sure why. So if any one reading this knows if this will or will not have an effect on my unborn child please let me know. Please & Thank you! God bless!

    Hi, Mrs. H. I talked to a representative at the manufacturing company, and he says that the medication itself is not affected by the chemical, just the packaging, which seems to have absorbed the chemical from the wooden pallets on which the bottles were stored and shipped. Generic acetaminophen, which is the active ingredient in Tylenol, is also not affected by the recall, he said. I hope this eases your mind a bit, until you have a chance to double-check with your doctor! -- LMA

    Posted by Mrs. H January 16, 10 12:26 AM
  1. Since we start importing raw material to make medicines from India, China and who knows where else we have since a huge increase in recalls not only in medicines but toys, clothing, electronics, furniture the list goes on and on, since we don't have quality control in those countries
    We have lost millions of manufacturing jobs in the USA,why not bring the factories back so we know where the materials used in our products come from and people here who need jobs will benefit?
    Stop protecting the companies who manufacture products overseas,it's time to act call the president and your local congressman!

    Posted by Isabelle January 16, 10 02:35 AM

  1. Recall List ? Are you kidding me? there's a whole list of screw ups!
    Smelly Tylenol products can cause gastrointestinal problems ,vomiting.nausea,diarrhea,
    and a whole plethora of ills, is this a medicine or a disease ,I investigated further and found this article
    which highlights past errors which evidently have not been dealt with!
    http://ketiva.com/Health/tylenol_recalls_1982_all_over_again.html

    Posted by David3737 January 18, 10 06:07 PM
  1. I agree with Isabelle. Bring back jobs to America where we desparately need them and there will be less recalls.

    Posted by Deb January 22, 10 08:50 AM
 
6 comments so far...
  1. It seems like every time I turn around, a product which I place my trust in is getting recalled. When is this country going to get its butt in gear and prohibit companies from using anything remotely toxic near the products we use in our bodies and households. It's time to put our safety before the almightly dollar. I'm really frustrated. Just a few months ago, there was a massive Tylenol recall. What's next. Don't drink the water. Oops, quite a few towns already had this problem this year.

    Posted by Sarah January 15, 10 04:27 PM
  1. I always buy generic medicines for my kids, but this is bad.

    Posted by Duke Nukem January 15, 10 04:32 PM
  1. I'm a little worried because I am now 15 weeks pregnant and I've been taking Tylenol (the one pain killer that is supposed to be safe for me) since I was 6 weeks pregnant to help deal with caffeine headaches while I was trying to quit drinking soda and coffee because the caffeine is bad for the baby. Now what I'm wondering is, is the Tylenol going to end screwing up my baby. I will be calling my doctor on Monday to ask questions. Whats really sad was that I was unaware of this recall tell I was WalMart trying to buy some more and the pharmacist told me that it was recalled and she wasn't sure why. So if any one reading this knows if this will or will not have an effect on my unborn child please let me know. Please & Thank you! God bless!

    Hi, Mrs. H. I talked to a representative at the manufacturing company, and he says that the medication itself is not affected by the chemical, just the packaging, which seems to have absorbed the chemical from the wooden pallets on which the bottles were stored and shipped. Generic acetaminophen, which is the active ingredient in Tylenol, is also not affected by the recall, he said. I hope this eases your mind a bit, until you have a chance to double-check with your doctor! -- LMA

    Posted by Mrs. H January 16, 10 12:26 AM
  1. Since we start importing raw material to make medicines from India, China and who knows where else we have since a huge increase in recalls not only in medicines but toys, clothing, electronics, furniture the list goes on and on, since we don't have quality control in those countries
    We have lost millions of manufacturing jobs in the USA,why not bring the factories back so we know where the materials used in our products come from and people here who need jobs will benefit?
    Stop protecting the companies who manufacture products overseas,it's time to act call the president and your local congressman!

    Posted by Isabelle January 16, 10 02:35 AM

  1. Recall List ? Are you kidding me? there's a whole list of screw ups!
    Smelly Tylenol products can cause gastrointestinal problems ,vomiting.nausea,diarrhea,
    and a whole plethora of ills, is this a medicine or a disease ,I investigated further and found this article
    which highlights past errors which evidently have not been dealt with!
    http://ketiva.com/Health/tylenol_recalls_1982_all_over_again.html

    Posted by David3737 January 18, 10 06:07 PM
  1. I agree with Isabelle. Bring back jobs to America where we desparately need them and there will be less recalls.

    Posted by Deb January 22, 10 08:50 AM
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Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

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