If You Got This Common OTC Medication at CVS, Stop Using It Now, FDA Warns

The agency warns the pills could pose a major health risk to certain people.

Having over-the-counter (OTC) medicines on hand can make it easy to tackle any minor health issues that arise in your day-to-day life. Whether you're taking a pill to combat sudden indigestion or looking for relief from aches and pains, there's a decent chance you've visited your local drugstore to purchase them. But if you've recently picked up OTC medication from CVS, you may want to take a minute to check if it's part of a recall the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has just issued. Read on to see which product the pharmacy chain is pulling from shelves due to a serious safety concern.

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There has recently been a string of recalls on popular OTC medicines.

Angled view of a pain reliever display in the pharmacy area of a QFC grocery store.
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Besides being effective, part of relying on OTC medicines to treat your ailments is knowing that what you're taking is safe. Unfortunately, just like food and beverage products, drugs can sometimes fail to meet specific requirements or face contamination issues that require them to be removed from stores and medicine cabinets.

On June 16, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recall of two types of Kroger-brand acetaminophen and Walgreens-branded acetaminophen, which is the generic name for the OTC pain killer commonly known brand, Tylenol. The stores pulled the pills from shelves because they violated the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA), which requires drugs like acetaminophen to be sold in child-resistant packaging for safety reasons.

But it's not just pain relievers that have been affected. On June 9, the FDA announced 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 on June 7, Buzzagogo Inc. announced it was voluntarily recalling one lot of its Allergy Bee Gone for Kids Nasal Swab Remedy after FDA testing found that some of the products contained higher levels of yeast and mold than is acceptable. But now, another major pharmacy chain is pulling products from its shelves for safety reasons.

The FDA just issued a recall of a common CVS OTC medication.

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On June 21, the FDA announced that Vi-Jon, LLC was voluntarily recalling one lot of CVS Magnesium Citrate Saline Laxative Oral Solution Lemon Flavor it produced for the pharmacy chain. According to the notice, the affected item comes packaged in a 10-ounce clear, round plastic bottle printed with the batch number 0556808 expiration date 12/2023 on the shoulder. The recall notice clarifies that the recalled product was distributed to CVS drug store locations nationwide.

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The company pulled the medication from shelves after discovering potential bacterial contamination.

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According to the FDA, the company issued the recall after samples of the medication sent to a third-party lab tested positive for the bacteria Gluconacetobacter liquefaciens. The microorganism poses a severe risk to immunocompromised patients who consume it, with the agency warning that it "could lead to serious, life-threatening adverse health consequences."

Here's what you should do if you have the recalled medication in your cabinet.

A senior man looking at bottles of medicine and medication in his medicine cabinet
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Fortunately, no health complications related to the recall have yet been reported. But the FDA advises anyone who purchased the laxative to stop using it immediately and return it to the place of purchase immediately.

Any customers with questions can contact Vi-Jo by emailing Recalls@Vijon.com on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time. Patients who feel they may be experiencing a health problem related to the recalled product should contact their doctor or healthcare provider immediately.

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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