Drug company recalls Excedrin, Bufferin and other OTC meds

Posted Jan 9, 2012 by Leigh Goessl
Drug company Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. (NCH) has issued a voluntary recall on several over-the-counter (OTC) medications due to several possible problematic issues.
Novartis building  taken on June 12  2006
Novartis building, taken on June 12, 2006
Andrew Hecht
Additionally, the company has temporarily suspended production at one of its facilities.
The problems cited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcement include possible presence of foreign tablets in the bottles or the medication tables/gelcaps may be chipped or broken.
Four brand-name products distributed from the Switzerland-based company are affected by this recall: Excedrin®, NoDoz®, Bufferin® and Gas-X Prevention® are all listed. The FDA statement said this action was being taken "as a precautionary measure because the products may contain stray tablets, capsules, or caplets from other Novartis products, or contain broken or chipped tablets."
For Excedrin® and NoDoz® products, any product affected contains the expiration date of December 20, 2014 or earlier. For Bufferin® and Gas-X Prevention® products, products affected have an expiration date of December 20, 2013 or earlier.
The voluntary recall is being done out of caution to ensure no consumers accidentally take the wrong dosage of a product and/or ingest the wrong medication entirely and place the consumer at risk. Possible issues include adverse reactions, overdose, allergic reactions, or having a mix of medications that are not advised.
At this time no adverse events associated with any of these products has been reported.
Novartis also announced they were temporarily suspending operations and shipments from its Lincoln, NE facility, where the medications were made, in order to "accelerate maintenance and other improvement activities at the site."
Bloomberg's Business Week reported Julie Masow, a spokeswoman for Novartis, said she "didn't immediately" know a number of the tablets and gelcaps involved in this recall. The affected Nebraska facility has 620 employees and about 200 temporary workers, Masow said.
These listed products were reported to have been distributed in the United States to both wholesalers and retailers. Any merchant who has any shipments on their shelves or in their inventory should return the items to Novartis and follow the company's instructions.
Consumers who may have purchased the OTC drugs should not use them and call Novartis Consumer Relationship Center at 1-888-477-2403 on Mon. - Fri. from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, or visit the company's website at