Sunday, January 16, 2011

Life or Death Advice! (& Another Medication Recall)

No need to panic. There is nothing terrible or scary going on, but McNeil Consumer Healthcare is recalling certain batches of Tylenol 8 hour, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, and Tylenol respiratory products (Tylenol Sinus, Allergy, etc.) as well as some lots of Benadryl, Sinutab, Sudafed and Rolaids. Go to McNeil's Product Recall Information site to check lot numbers on any of these products that you have in your medicine cabinet. These recalls are an admirable part of the company's internal scrutiny upon discovery that in some instances, cleaning procedures were considered insufficient or poorly documented. There have been no complaints of any adverse medical consequences...and goodness knows in our legal climate, we'd be aware of them if there were!

However, I wanted to use this medication recall as a REMINDER TO CLEAN OUT YOUR MEDICINE CABINET! Along with the bevy of New Year's resolutions, fresh starts should include your basic home pharmacy. It will do you little to no good to reach for your pain reliever or topical antibiotic cream if they are out of date. Just like your pantry (surely a topic for another day), I'd bet you will find old prescription medications along with numerous expired OTC cough and cold products. TOSS THEM OUT!

I think the most critical medication in the cabinet is diphenhydramine (Benadryl). If someone in your house is stung by a bee, or eats the wrong food or has another trigger for a severe allergic reaction, you want that Benadryl to be CURRENT! Now, this literally can be a matter of life and death.

BOTTOM LINE: Take a half hour TODAY and clean out your medication cabinet, checking expiration dates (and lots, if it is one of the meds noted above) and then head to the store and REPLENISH your supply!

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