FDA slams Tylenol as recall spreads to Motrin, Benadryl, Rolaids, more

Remember the recall of Tylenol, specifically Arthritis Pain EZ-open tabs late last month?

The product was recalled due to contamination with a substance that causes vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms. While that recall was for a specific variety of Tylenol, it turns out many more medications were affected than originally disclosed to the public by Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Health Care. The FDA claims that the company knew of the issue with 2,4,6-tribromoanisole, thought to stem from exposure to storage pallets, for more than a year but did not take adequate measures to inform the public of the dangers posed by the affected medications.

What’s worse is that the affected number of products ranged far beyond the one variety of Tylenol originally indicated in the recall. Varieties of Motrin, Rolaids and Benadryl- all very popular over the counter medications in wide use across the country- are now also being recalled for the “moldy, musty smell” and ensuing illness experienced by some consumers. The FDA slammed Johnson & Johnson for their slow action in informing consumers about the risks:

“When something smells bad, literally and figuratively, you aggressively investigate and solve the problem,” said Deborah Autor, director of FDA’s compliance office.

“The company should have acted faster,” Autor said. “All companies have a responsibility to ensure high quality, safety and effectiveness of their products and protect consumers.”

Below are some of the specific products named in the recall:

The recalled products include junior strength Motrin, children’s Tylenol grape meltaway tablets, extra strength Tylenol, extra strength Tylenol rapid release gelcaps, extra strength Tylenol PM geltabs, Motrin caplets, extra strength Rolaids fresh mint tablets, St. Joseph Aspirin chewable orange tablets and Benedryl allergy ultratab tablets.

Consumers with products believed to be part of the recall are urged to contact the company at 1-888-222-6036, or log on to www.mcneilproductrecall.com. Johnson & Johnson have also advised consumers with health concerns to “contact their healthcare provider.” However, a large number of Americans lack basic health coverage so it’s likely that many who use Tylenol, Rolaids or Benadryl also lack access to regular prescription medications, forcing them to resort to over the counter solutions.