If You Got These Common Meds From Walmart or Walgreens, Don't Take Them, FDA Warns

They could be dangerous to your health, especially if you're immunocompromised.

To combat common aches, pains, and ailments, many of us keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet or first-aid kit. You likely have Tums on hand in case of an upset stomach, and a pain reliever like Tylenol or Advil to treat a sudden headache. Oftentimes, the most convenient—and the most affordable—retailers to buy these products at are your local Walgreens or Walmart stores. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just issued a warning about one over-the-counter (OTC) medication that you could have purchased at either chain, and will want to stop using immediately. Read on to find out which common meds are now subject to recall.

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Several OTC medications have been recalled recently.

acetaminophen bottle and pills
MedstockPhotos / Shutterstock

Unfortunately, the latest recall is not isolated, as other medications have been pulled from store shelves this summer. On June 9, the FDA announced that Green Pharmaceuticals Inc. had voluntarily recalled certain SnoreStop NasoSpray products after discovering they were contaminated with Providencia rettgeri bacteria, posing a serious health risk for immunocompromised people. And just two days prior, on June 7, the FDA confirmed that Buzzagogo Inc. was voluntarily recalling one lot of its Allergy Bee Gone for Kids Nasal Swab Remedy after FDA testing found higher than acceptable levels of yeast and mold.

An even more widespread recall happened June 16, when the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recall of two types of Kroger brand acetaminophen and one type of Walgreens store-brand acetaminophen, which violated the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA). Now, the FDA has issued a warning about yet another OTC medication, which also made headlines last month.

An existing recall has been expanded to include more products.

CVS Pharmacy in Jennersville, Pennsylvania.

On July 14, Vi-Jon LLC announced that it would be expanding its voluntary recall of Magnesium Citrate Saline Laxative Oral Solution Lemon Flavor. The products were available in a 10-fluid ounce clear round plastic bottle and are used to relieve occasional constipation.

The company already issued a voluntary recall on June 21, but it was limited to one lot of CVS Magnesium Citrate Saline Laxative Oral Solution Lemon Flavor produced by Vi-Jon LLC for the pharmacy chain. Now, the recall has been expanded to include all lots of the medication manufactured at Vi-Jon in Smyrna, Tennessee, at the consumer level.

Products were distributed to wholesale and retail outlets across the country, according to the announcement, including Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, Publix, Kroger, and Harris Teeter, among others. A full list of affected brand names, National Drug Codes, and Universal Product Codes are listed as part of the recall announcement.

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Products were found to contain a dangerous bacteria.

A young woman sitting on the couch holding her head while sick with COVID symptoms

According to the recall announcement, testing by a third party and Vi-Jon identified the presence of Gluconacetobacter liquefaciens, a microorganism that can cause invasive infections. Immunocompromised patients have a higher risk of infection if they consume contaminated products, potentially leading to "serious, life-threatening adverse health consequences."

As of July 14, the company had received one report of a reaction that could be related to the recalled products, and Vi-Jon is currently "in the process of investigating this report."

Stop using this product immediately if you have it at home.

sending an email
Prostock-studio / Shutterstock

If you take one of these laxative brands to treat irregularity, the FDA warns you should stop using it and return any remaining product to your place of purchase. Vi-Jon is also reaching out to customers directly via phone or email to arrange for either the return or destruction of recalled products.

You should contact your healthcare provider or doctor if you experience any adverse reactions after taking this product, and the FDA also asks that you report these issues and quality problems to its MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program. You can do so online or download a form to complete and mail or fax back to the agency.

Customers with questions can reach out to Vi-Jon by email at [email protected], Monday through Friday, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Central Time.

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is an Associate Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on national parks, scientific studies, and the best pet advice. Read more
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