Walgreens and Kroger Are Pulling These Popular OTC Pain Meds From Shelves
A major recall has forced these retailers to ditch a popular pain medication.
Almost all of us keep certain necessities in our medicine cabinets, from antacids for heartburn relief to allergy pills for hay fever. But there is one particularly staple you probably can't go without: over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication. When it comes to headaches or muscle strain, there's no beating the fast help you can get from these common pain relievers. Now, however, a major recall is targeting medication you may have purchased at Walgreens or Kroger for a serious safety issue. Read on to find out if you have these potentially dangerous meds at home.
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There have been a number of different medication recalls recently.
We'd like to assume that the medications we're taking are safe, but unfortunately that's not always the case. With that in mind, it's important to keep up with the latest recall notices posted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Just this month, two holistic remedies have been pulled, according to releases posted on the FDA site. On June 7, Buzzagogo Inc. recalled one lot of its Allergy Bee Gone for Kids Nasal Swab Remedy because of potential microbial contamination. FDA testing found the product had elevated levels of yeast and mold, and said it could also contain the bacteria Bacillus cereus, which is especially dangerous to immunocompromised individuals.
Then on June 9, Green Pharmaceuticals Inc. recalled one lot of its SnoreStop NasoSpray, also for potential microbial contamination. This product was found to potentially contain the bacteria Providencia rettgeri, which again is mostly of danger to immunocompromised people.
Now, the CPSC has released multiple warnings about a much more popular OTC pain medication that you very likely have at home.
One common OTC pain med is now being pulled from shelves.
When we have a pain that just won't go away, many of us have a preferred option we cling to: Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, or Bayer. Generic versions of these OTC meds also exist, often sold under the store's name—and if you generally veer toward these cheaper options, you'll want to know about a recall affecting store-brand pain medication sold at Walgreens and Kroger.
On June 16, the CPSC posted three different recall announcements for acetaminophen, the pain reliever you probably know by its most common brand name, Tylenol. Two makers of Kroger brand acetaminophen, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and Aurohealth, have pulled 34,600 and 25,660 units, respectively. Aurohealth is also responsible for Walgreens store-brand acetaminophen, and is pulling 137,300 units of the drug.
According to the CPSC releases, all of these OTC meds were recalled because of the packaging. Acetaminophen needs to be sold in child-resistant packaging, per the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA). "The packaging of the products is not child resistant, posing a risk of poisoning if the contents are swallowed by young children," the CPSC says.
The medication can be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands.
While acetaminophen is a very common medication that many of us take on a somewhat regular basis, it's not without its dangers, which is why the PPPA mandates packaging that makes these bottles harder to open. Research has shown that acetaminophen can cause serious liver damage, with doctors warning that high doses of acetaminophen—like that found in Extra Strength Tylenol—can lead to "severe damage." That danger is even more heightened in children, the very individuals child-resistant packaging is designed to keep out.
Adults often find themselves in trouble because they unknowingly take multiple medications that contain acetaminophen, as the experts at UCI Health explain. But children who get into an improperly sealed bottle of these pain meds can easily overdose, making the extra precaution of child-resistant packaging that much more important.
Thankfully, no injuries have been reported tied to any of the recalled bottles of acetaminophen.
Here's how to know if you have the recalled meds at home, and what to do.
Anyone who has these recalled OTC meds should keep them in a safe place out of reach from children immediately.
The recalled Walgreens acetaminophen manufactured by Aurohealth was sold between Oct. 2021 and April 2022. The label says "Walgreens, Easy Open for Adults, Pain Reliever, Acetaminophen, 500 mg, Fever Reducer, Extra Strength, 150 caplets." The UPC number is 311917218090, and a full list of the affected lot numbers is available on the CPSC site. Aurohealth advises contacting the company for information on how to return the medication to Walgreens.
Aurohealth is also responsible for the Kroger acetaminophen labeled "Kroger, Acetaminophen, Arthritis Pain, Extended-Release, Tablets USP, 650 mg, 225 extended-release tablets." These bottles were sold between Dec. 2021 and March 2022. The UPC number is 0004126001284, and the lot numbers are also available on the release posted by the CPSC. In this case, Aurohealth advises that you contact Kroger for information on how to get rid of the acetaminophen and receive a refund.
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries is recalling the Kroger acetaminophen sold as "Kroger, Acetaminophen, Extended-Release Tablets USP, 650mg, Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer, 100 caplets," which was sold between Oct. 2021 and March 2022. The UPC for this product is 0004126001287; consult the CPSC site for a list of affected batch codes. Again, you are advised to contact Kroger directly to find out how to dispose of—and get a refund for—this medication.