Drug recalls are a common occurrence these days, a fact which has been backed up by research at Boston's Brigham and Women’s Hospital. It was found that a drug is recalled on average about once each month. Recalls typically occur when a product has been improperly labeled, mispackaged, adulterated or otherwise fails to meet standards set by the FDA and the manufacturer.
If you take any medications, it's important to keep an eye out for any recalls. You can often acquire this information through a quick Internet search or by talking to your doctor. Should you discover that one or more of your medications have been subject to a recall, here's what you should do.
There's no need to freak out and rush to the emergency room. Recalls are usually for relatively minor issues, and even if the drug has been shown to cause problems, they don't normally occur right away. Instead, schedule an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible. He or she can provide you with more information, instruct you on getting off of the medication and even offer an alternative.
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to your health. Staying up to date with current recalls could save you a lot of problems down the road. The best place to learn specific information on recalled drugs is the FDA website. Here, you can also opt to receive recall notices in your email.
Always pay careful attention to your prescriptions when you get them filled. If it looks or smells odd, shows evidence of tampering or if you believe it to be contaminated, don't take the medication. Instead, alert the pharmacist immediately, even if there's no recall in place. If you experience negative reactions to any medication, you should report them via the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program, which is located at their website.
DISPOSE OF MEDICATIONS PROPERLY
All drugs that you're no longer taking should be disposed of in a safe and responsible fashion. Most pharmacies will take your unneeded medications off your hands, but you can also destroy them yourself. To do this, mix them with some used coffee grounds or other household trash. It's not recommended to flush medications down the toilet as remnants will end up in the water supply and cannot be fully removed.
It can be frightening to find out that a medication you're on has been recalled, especially if it was found to result in health problems. However, it's not a dire situation. Just by keeping yourself informed, staying vigilant and working with your doctor, you can continue to safeguard your health in the face of frequent drug recalls.