If You Use Any of These OTC Medications, Throw Them Out Now, Maker Says

Nine over-the-counter products made by Bayer are being voluntarily recalled by the company.

Bayer is one of the most trusted names customers see on the shelves of their local pharmacy. The company is best known for developing aspirin, but it's introduced many medications to the market since it launched all the way back in 1863. But now, Bayer has issued a voluntary recall on nine of its over-the-counter products. The company is asking customers across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico to stop using them and safely discard them out of concern they could contain a potentially dangerous substance. To find out if you need to toss anything from your medicine cabinet, read on.

Bayer is voluntarily recalling five different Lotrimin spray products.

Lotrimin products affected by Bayer Oct. 2021 recall

Bayer is voluntarily recalling unexpired cans of its Lotrimin anti-fungal products with certain lot numbers that were distributed between Sept. 2018 and Sept. 2021.

The affected anti-fungal spray products (listed below) are used to treat athlete's foot and were sold over the counter individually and in combo packs.

  • Lotrimin® Anti-Fungal (AF) Athlete's Foot Powder Spray
  • Lotrimin® Anti-Fungal Jock Itch (AFJI) Athlete's Foot Powder Spray
  • Lotrimin® Anti-Fungal (AF) Athlete's Foot Deodorant Powder Spray
  • Lotrimin® AF Athlete's Foot Liquid Spray
  • Lotrimin® AF Athlete's Foot Daily Prevention Deodorant Powder Spray

A full list of products, including expiration dates and lot codes (which all begin with TN, CV or NAA), are available on Bayer's website.

The company is also pulling four different Tinactin sprays.

Tinactin products affected by Bayer Oct. 2021 recall

Bayer is also pulling unexpired Tinactin spray products with lot numbers beginning with TN and CV that were distributed in the same timeframe, Sept. 2018 to Sept. 2021.

The affected Tinactin sprays, which are used to treat jock itch and athlete's foot as well, are listed below, with a complete list of products (including expiration dates and lot codes) available on the aforementioned Bayer site.

  • Tinactin® Jock Itch (JI) Powder Spray
  • Tinactin® Athlete's Foot Deodorant Powder Spray
  • Tinactin® Athlete's Foot Powder Spray
  • Tinactin® Athlete's Foot Liquid Spray

Both the affected Lotrimin and Tinactin products were distributed across the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico.

Bayer decided to issue the recall due to the presence of benzene in the spray cans.

Logo of Bayer, a German multinational pharmaceutical and life science company
nitpicker / Shutterstock

According to a notice posted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Bayer decided to recall these nine products "due to the presence of benzene in some samples," though the company says the carcinogen is "not an ingredient in any of Bayer Consumer Health products."

On both the Lotrimin and Tinactin websites, Bayer explains that the spray versions of these products contain an additional ingredient known as a propellant that pushes it out of the can to make sure it's evenly distributed. The low levels of benzene were "traced to the propellant."

The company says they decided to recall the Lotrimin and Tinactin products as a "precautionary measure" and they don't expect the levels of benzene detected in the sprays in question to "cause adverse health consequences."

However, they did issue the following statement about the risk benzene can pose: "Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen. Exposure to benzene can occur by inhalation, orally, and through the skin. Depending on duration and level of exposure, it can result in cancers including leukemia, and blood cancer of the bone marrow and blood disorders which can be life-threatening. Benzene is found in the environment from natural sources and human activity. Humans around the world are exposed to it from multiple sources and pathways, including inhalation, through the skin, and orally."

No other Bayer products are affected by the recall.

Idar-Oberstein, Germany - May 7, 2014: One Aspirin tablet, containing 0.5 gram of acetylsalicylic acid as active pharmaceutical ingredient, located on its blister pack with ten tablets. Aspirin is one of the most common and used pharmaceutical drugs worldwide. In 1897 Aspirin was first synthesized by the german company Bayer. It was mainly used to relieve pain and aches, but today it is also known to help to lower the risk for strokes, heart attackes and maybe some type of cancer if taken in low dosis regulary. This packaging is the one being sold in Germany.

Luckily, Bayer has not received any reports of "adverse events" related to the recalled anti-fungal sprays. They also note that there is no cause for concern regarding Lotrimin and Tinactin creams, or any other Bayer products.

The company says it's tested its other aerosol products and none of them appear to be affected. They also note, "Prior to these issues arising, we had already transitioned to a different contract manufacturer that is not impacted by this issue."

If you have any of the recalled Bayer sprays, "discard the product," the company says.

Woman taking out the trash in neighborhood

Bayer says any customers who have the affected sprays at home should stop using them and "discard the product appropriately." If you'd like a refund, you can request one via the Lotrimin site or the Tinactin site, but you must take a photo of the product(s) in question first. The company also says that while there is "no deadline for refund requests at this time," they suggest you submit your request as soon as possible.

Any customers concerned they've experienced health issues as a result of using the products should contact their doctor and report them to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program, Bayer says. Customers can also contact Bayer directly with questions at 1-866-360-3266, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET.

Jaimie Etkin
Jaimie is the Editor-in-Chief of Best Life. Read more
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