Every year in the US, the FDA and drug manufacturers recall approximately 4,500 drugs and devices.
Drug recalls are for reasons ranging from life-threatening health hazards to simple mislabeling. When your medication is recalled, you need to know what to do.
The safest option isn’t always to stop taking the drug. Instead, you should inform yourself, call your doctor, and learn how to safely dispose of the product if you have to.
Was your medication recalled recently? Read this guide on what to do next.
Why Is a Medication Recalled?
Medications and medical devices are tested for both safety and effectiveness. Testing occurs before they become available to consumers.
The FDA and drug manufacturers continue to watch medications and medical devices even after they’ve hit the market. If they find that medicine is harmful or defective in some way, the FDA or the manufacturer may issue a recall.
What to Do If Your Medication Is Recalled
If your medication was recalled lately, there are some steps you need to take. Following these steps will ensure your health and safety.
1. Stay Calm
Don’t panic if you find out that your medication has been recalled. There are many potential reasons for a recall, including:
- Mislabeling, confusing dosing instructions, or problems with the dosing tool.
- Poor manufacturing leading to issues with quality, purity, and/or potency.
- Potential contamination with harmful or non-harmful substances.
- Health hazards that aren’t realized until after the drug has been widely used.
In many cases, drugs are recalled for minor reasons. Which means you’re not necessarily in danger.
2. Inform Yourself
You need to be sure that it’s your specific medication that’s been recalled. That means that it’s the same manufacture as well as the same lot number.
Recalled medication only affects certain lot numbers, which is related to the time period in which it was made. You can find out what lot numbers are being recalled by visiting the FD website or by reading the official recall announcements on the manufacturer’s website.
3. Call Your Doctor
If your medication is in the right lot number, you don’t necessarily stop taking it right away. Many prescription drugs are critical for your health and it may be more dangerous to stop taking them immediately.
Instead, call your doctor. They can tell you if the reason for the recall is reason enough to discontinue use. They’ll also be able to get you a replacement quickly.
At this point, you should also consider your legal options. For example, if you’ve been affected by the recent Zantac recall, visit zantacsettlement.org to find out about your legal options.
4. Safe Disposal
It’s important to discard your medications in a safe manner. Don’t ever flush it down the toilet. That can cause problems with your plumbing but, more importantly, contaminates the water system.
You can return most medications to the pharmacy, which has safe protocols for discarding medication. If you decide to dispose of it in your home, make sure you place it in a container or plastic bag and add something like coffee grounds or kitty litter.
Medication recalled isn’t always a severe risk to your health, but sometimes it is. In either case, you need to take the proper steps to ensure your health and wellbeing. That means, staying calm, informing yourself, and talking to your doctor.
And for more how-to’s like this one, be sure to check out our How-To blog regularly.