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What should I do with recalled Tylenol?

Asked by Tom, Los Angeles, California

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What should I do with the recalled children's Tylenol I have in my medicine cabinet?

Expert Bio Picture

Living Well Expert Dr. Jennifer Shu Pediatrician,
Children's Medical Group

Expert answer

Thank you for your question. The manufacturer of children's and infant Tylenol (the generic name is acetaminophen) voluntarily removed several products from the market as a precaution. Visit the McNeil Product Recall site for more information. Although the risk of a child having a serious side effect is thought to be low, do not continue using the medication, as some products were found to be too potent and others may be contaminated by tiny bacteria particles.

Customers can check whether their medicines have been recalled by looking up the product lot number and expiration date on the McNeil website. A refund or a product coupon may be obtained from the manufacturer. Until the Tylenol liquid products meeting testing requirements return to pharmacy shelves, caregivers are advised to purchase other brands of acetaminophen (such as the generic store brand) or use chewable tablets for children over the age of 2 years.

It is important to dispose of all medications properly so as not to contaminate soil and water sources. For liquid medicines, it is best to mix the liquid with coffee grounds, kitty litter, sawdust or other similar substances and sealing the entire mixture in a plastic bag before placing it in the trash. More details about medicine disposal may be found at SMARxT Disposal which promotes disposal of medicines in a safe, environmentally protective manner.

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