Local stores pull several medications

Published 10:26 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Recalled medicines have been pulled from local drug store shelves due to a recent recall.

Local pharmacy workers have pulled a variety of over-the-counter medications from their shelves involved in a voluntary recall by the Novartis company.

Danny Cottrell, co-owner of Buy-Rite Drugs, said his location is taking care to remove the products from the shelves and out of the hands of unsuspecting customers.

“It’s a pretty drastic recall,” Cottrell said. “The recall is for all Excedrin — any size, any strength, any bottle — that has an expiration date of Dec. 20, 2014 or earlier.”

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Although Cottrell said no problems are believed to associated with Gas-X products, the company is including them in the recall as a precaution.

“They don’t think there are any issues with Gax-X, but it’s better to be safe,” Cottrell said. “It is a precaution and we’ve taken all of those items off our shelves.”

Included in the recall are specific lots of Exedrin, NoDoz, Buferin and Gas-X Prevention products.

According to officials with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, food safety inspectors are conducting quality assurance checks throughout the state because of the Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., recall.

Specific medications included in the recall include Excedrin and NoDoz products with expiration dates of Dec. 20, 2014 or earlier as well as Bufferin and Gas-X products with expiration dates of Dec. 20, 2013 or earlier.

Some packaging may contain stray tablets, capsules or caplets from other Norvartis products or contain broken or chipped tablets.

Walmart Pharmacist Shannon Thompson said all of the items included in the recall have been removed.

“Everything we had that was part of the recall has already been pulled from the shelves,” Thompson said Tuesday. “Anyone that has any of the products can bring them back for a refund.”

John McMillan, commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, said the inspectors are just doing their job.

“As always, our food safety inspectors’ number one goal is to protect consumers,” McMillan said. “They are out in retail stores making sure all of these potentially harmful products are removed from the shelves.”

Information provided by McMillan’s office stated mixing different products in the same bottle could result in consumers taking the incorrect product and receiving a higher or lower strength than intended or receiving an unintended ingredient.

“This could potentially result in overdose, interaction with other medications a consumer may be taking,” McMillan said. “It could also cause an allergic reaction if the consumer is allergic to the unintended ingredient.”

The over-the-counter medications were distributed nationwide to wholesalers and retailers. Norvartis is notifying its distributors and customers and is arranging for return of all recalled products. Wholesalers and retailers should stop distribution and return the affected product using Novartis return information provided.

Consumers who have the products should stop using them immediately and contact Novartis at 1-888-477-2403 for information on how to return the affected products and receive a full refund.

In most cases, returning the item to the place of purchase is sufficient.

For more detailed information, consumers may visit the Novartis Website at www.novartisOTC,com. Consumers should contact their physician if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using these drug products.