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County: Major recall of medicine for infants and children

Saturday, May 01, 2010
Chicago Tribune
by Gerry Smith

Cook County public health officials are recommending that parents get rid of a slew of over-the-counter medicines for infants and children that are now part of a major recall.

"If they have it in the house they need to get it off the shelf," said Dr. Stephen Martin, the county health department's chief operating officer on Saturday.

The Food and Drug Administration says it is investigating after a health-care company recalled more than 40 over-the-counter infant's and children's liquid medications late Friday.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare issued the voluntary recall in the United States and 11 other countries after consulting with the FDA. The recall involves children's versions of Tylenol, Tylenol Plus, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl, because they don't meet quality standards.

Martin said concerned parents should first check to see if their children's medication is on the list of products being recalled. You can read that list HERE.

Then parents should contact their health care provider or pharmacist to find an alternative medication that does not affect their child's allergies.

"They will be able to direct you to the best product for that particular child," Martin said.

The FDA said the recall is due to manufacturing deficiencies that may affect quality, purity or potency of the drugs. Some of the products included in the recall may contain a higher concentration of active ingredient than specified; others contain inactive ingredients that may not meet internal testing requirements; and others may contain tiny particles, the FDA said.

While the potential for serious medical events is remote, FDA said consumers should discontinue use of these recalled products.

"We want to be certain that consumers discontinue using these products and that they know what to do if they have concerns about a specific product," FDA Commissioner Drugs Margaret A. Hamburg said in a press release. "While the potential for serious health problems is remote, Americans deserve medications that are safe, effective and of the highest quality. We are investigating the products and facilities associated with this recall and will provide updates as we learn more."

Read the FDA Q and A on this issue HERE.



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