Migraine Medication Recalled Over Safety Concerns, Officials Warn
This prescription drug currently poses a poisoning risk.
A horrible headache is enough to put most of us on our backs. But migraines can produce a series of other severe symptoms alongside debilitating head pain, like neck stiffness, blurred vision, and slurred speech. So those who suffer from this condition often seek out medication to help mitigate their misery. If you fall into this category, you'll want to make sure the drugs you depend on are still safe for you to use. One popular type of migraine medication has just been recalled. Read on to find out if you're at risk because of new safety concerns.
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Migraines affect millions in the U.S.
While many assume that migraines are just really bad headaches, that's not actually the case. A migraine is a "disabling neurological disease with different symptoms and different treatment approaches compared to other headache disorders," according to the American Migraine Foundation. The health organization says it is estimated that at least 39 million Americans live with migraines.
In terms of treatments, there are a number of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs that help stop a migraine once it starts or prevent the prevalence of migraine attacks altogether, per WebMD. But now a new alert is warning consumers about a recall affecting one of these migraine medications.
One migraine medication is now being recalled.
On March 16, the U.S. Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released an alert informing consumers about a new medication recall. The agency announced that Pfizer Inc., is issuing a recall on its rimegepant medication, which is sold under the brand name Nurtec ODT. This is a "prescription medicine used in adults for the acute treatment of migraine attacks with or without aura [and] the preventive treatment of episodic migraine," according to Pfizer's website.
Specifically, this impacts the Nurtec ODT's orally disintegrating tablets that were sold in the 75mg 8-Unit Dose blister pack. The recalled tablets are "packaged in a carton that includes the name of the product, dosage strength, NDC number and expiration date," according to the CDC's alert. "The dosage strength and expiration date are printed or stamped on the blister card," the agency added.
Pfizer's prescription drug poses a risk of poisoning.
Pfizer is having to recall about 4.2 million units of this Nurtec ODT product because they fail to meet certain packaging requirements. As the CPSC explained, this prescription drug must be sold in child resistant packaging as a result of the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA). This act requires special packaging for most oral prescription drugs "that is designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for children under 5 years of age to open within a reasonable time and not difficult for adults to use properly," the CPSC explains.
Since the the recalled Nurtec ODT medication was sold in a non-child resistant blister card, it has caused major safety concerns. "The packaging of the products is not child resistant, posing a risk of poisoning if the contents are swallowed by young children," the alert stated. Pfizer also says on its website that it is "not known if Nurtec ODT is safe and effective in children," warning consumers to keep this medicine out of their reach.
You need to contact Pfizer for new packaging.
The CPSC said no incidents or injuries have been reported because of this problem yet. But consumers are still being asked to check if they have the recalled Nurtec ODT product so they can follow instructions for a repair. It was sold at pharmacies nationwide as a prescription medicine from Dec. 2021 through March 2023, according to the alert.
"Consumers should immediately secure the recalled product out of the sight and reach of children and contact Pfizer for a free child resistant pouch to store the product," the CPSC said. "Once the product is secured, consumers can continue to use it as directed."