Check your medicine cabinet! How to find recalled drugs

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When was the last time you went through your medicine cabinet? Drug recalls are common, but you can miss the news and still take a recalled drug.

The same applies to car recalls. We continue to drive and are thankfully unaware of a major recall. How to search for recalls affecting your vehicle.

That’s scary, but taking dangerous drugs could be even worse. I’ll show you how to start a prescription drug review to make sure your medication is safe to take.

NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES - 2009/05/30: Painkillers at a pharmacy.  (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES – 2009/05/30: Painkillers at a pharmacy. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images))


This is how the drug recall works

A recall is usually a voluntary action taken by a company to remove a defective product from the market. This can apply to everything from cars to televisions. Sometimes a recall is ordered by the government.

When it comes to pharmaceutical companies, The FDA has three classes of recalls:

Class I recalls are the most serious. In these situations, there is a “reasonable probability that use of or exposure to an infringing product will cause serious health consequences or death”.

Class II recalls are made when “use of or exposure to an infringing product may cause transient or medically reversible adverse health consequences, or when the likelihood of serious adverse health consequences is low”.

Class III recalls are “likely to have no adverse health consequences.”

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Check your medication

So how do you know if a drug you’re taking or one that’s sitting in your cupboard is safe to use? It’s worth checking your medicine cabinet a few times a year. Of course, throw away anything that has expired.

Then it’s time to check the status of all your prescription and over-the-counter medications with one visit Follow these steps:

Medical syringes and the FDA logo can be seen in the background in this illustrative photo.

Medical syringes and the FDA logo can be seen in the background in this illustrative photo.
(Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Enter the Brand name or product description in the search field. For example, you can search for Advil or the generic name Ibuprofen.

Click on that Product Type drop-down menu to narrow your search results.

You will receive a list of medications that match your request. You can export the results to Excel by clicking the Export Excel button.

When you see your product in the list, click on it to bring up a page with a summary of the recall and more details behind it. You may also receive instructions on how to return a defective product and contact information for the manufacturer.

Results on this page are derived from press releases and other public disclosures. You may have a drug that has an active recall but doesn’t show up when you search. That Enforcement Reports program contains information about recalls soon after they have been classified by the FDA, as well as pending recalls.

FDA mark.


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