Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare has recently issued a large voluntary recall of the company’s widely popular over-the-counter drugs Tylenol, Motrin, and Benadryl, among others. The recall is due to an inexplicable mold smell that has been causing illness among consumers. This is the second time in one month that McNeil has recalled these products due to the same smell problem. The recall affects McNeil products sold in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Fiji, most Central and South American countries, and the United Arab Emirates.
Included in the recall are assorted lots of Tylenol, including regular and extra-strength, as well as the Tylenol brands for children, eight-hour, arthritis, and PM. Motrin IB and children’s Motrin were also recalled, as were Benadryl Rolaids, Simply Sleep, and St. Joseph’s aspirin. The complete official list of recalled McNeil Consumer Healthcare products can be viewed at www.mcneilproductrecall.com. There is currently no accurate count of bottles and packages that will be included in this recall.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had been critical of Johnson & Johnson and McNeil for the company’s poor initial response to reports that surfaced as far back as 2008. More than 70 people have reported the odor and accompanying illnesses to the FDA. Of the consumers reporting the moldy smell, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and general stomach pains have been the most common symptoms reported.
According to representatives of Johnson & Johnson, the moldy smell stems from a chemical used for treatment of the wooden pallets that the over-the-counter medication is packed and shipped on, with the source being a facility in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico. In the meantime, Johnson & Johnson and McNeil will not allow new products to be shipped with products in question. Distributors have also been asked to discontinue selling the aforementioned products.