The drug manufacturer Novartis, at the request of the United States Food and Drug Administration, announced a voluntary recall for packages of several of its medications including Gas-X, Bufferin, Excedrin, and NoDoz, approximately six months ago, due to a concern that this pills were improperly mixed or may have been damaged, and the products are still absent from retail stores.
The recall, announced by the FDA in January, included Gas-X Prevention and Bufferin medications with expiration dates of December 20, 2013 or earlier and Excedrin and NoDoz medications with expiration dates of December 20, 2014. According to the FDA, these medications may be chipped or their packages may contain different types of medication in the same bottle. The risks of inadvertently taking the wrong type of medication can include accidental overdose, or, in the case of consumers with drug allergies, a potentially serious allergic reaction caused by taking incorrect medications whose ingredients are not listed on the product packaging. Any consumers still in possession of the medications included in this recall have been urged to discontinue use immediately and contact the customer service department at Novartis for instructions on returning the medication for a full refund.
According to a statement issued by Novartis, the company is currently working to improve their manufacturing process in order to resume production. This statement advises consumers that the pharmaceutical manufacturer is currently in the earliest stages of revamping this process and expects to resume production on a smaller scale in the second half of 2012.
This shortage of the popular migraine medication Excedrin has led to an online market for remaining bottles of the drug, according to an ABC News report. People who suffer from migraines and rely on Excedrin to provide pain relief have turned to the internet auction site eBay to find bottles of the medication, reportedly paying up to $500 for remaining medication. Medical experts, however, advise against purchasing medications from online auction websites, because the products may have been tampered with or incorrectly labeled. One doctor commenting on the situation speculated that migraine sufferers may have become psychologically dependant on Excedrin brand medication to provide pain relief after discovering that it was effective, even though many other treatment options exist for migraine sufferers, and several other products on the market offer migraine specific pain relief.
More information on this and other recalls can be obtained from the Food and Drug Administration’s website, or by calling the FDA’s consumer assistance hotline during regular business hours.