Tylenol recalled after complaints

Melissa Dilley

Customers claim stomach illnesses

Tylenol giving refunds, stores taking returns

Walmart pharmacist Lonnie Shedroff receives at least one medicine recall per day, but they are usually for medicines that aren’t stocked in the Kent store. However, when Tylenol was recalled on Jan. 15, customers were met by empty shelves where the pain reliever used to be.

Until late last week, all types of Tylenol had to be sent back to McNeil Consumer Healthcare after users complained of a moldy smell and experienced various stomach illnesses, such as vomiting and diarrhea, after ingesting Tylenol PM, Children’s Tylenol, Extra Strength Tylenol, Tylenol 8-hour or Tylenol for Arthritis.

McNeil, the maker of Tylenol and other common medicine brands such as Motrin, Benadryl and Rolaids, investigated the contamination and found that the smell was caused by trace amounts of the chemical 2,4,6-tribromoanisole (TBA).

The TBA likely came from the wood pallets that transported and stored the products.

Recalls happen all the time for various reasons, Walgreens Pharmacy manager Amanda Logsdon said. Some recalls can be so serious that pharmacists are required to call those who take the prescription at their homes. Other recalls can be as minor as the wrong size cotton ball being placed in the top of the bottle.

Tylenol’s recall was voluntary, which means the Food and Drug Administration didn’t require them to do so. Within hours of the recall, every product, even those that might have been produced before the defective batch, had to be sent back.

Agents from McNeil recall product information said they don’t know how many units had to be sent back as a result of the contamination, but Logsdon said Walgreens doesn’t pick up any of the cost of sending the product back.

“Even our store manager wouldn’t have to deal with something (like the cost),” Logsdon said. “Once we send the product back, we get a credit for it because McNeil and Walgreens have some kind of agreement.”

Those who bought the medicine don’t have to pay for it either. Tylenol is giving refunds directly and Walgreens and Walmart stores, among others, are taking returns.

Anyone who is concerned that they may have purchased a bottle of the recalled Tylenol can call McNeil Consumer Healthcare at 1-800-222-6036 to receive a coupon for a replacement bottle and suggestions for how to dispose of the product.

For those who aren’t sure whether they have the recalled medicine can check Tylenol.com for barcodes associated with the different products.

In addition to using barcodes to spot the tainted product, Logsdon said to bring it to Walgreens and the pharmacist can replace the bottle even if the customer hasn’t experienced adverse affects and there is no odor emitting from the medicine.

Contact public affairs reporter Melissa Dilley

at [email protected].