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Defective manufacturing prompts recall of many popular medicines

You have a headache and you need something right now, what do you do? If you said "Take some Excedrin," you may not be that different than many others in Lake Charles, but Louisiana residents need to be extra careful before they put any medicine by Novartis AG in their mouths. The pharmaceutical giant may be known for medicines such as Gas-X Prevention, NoDoz, Bufferin and Excedrin, but they may now also be known for defective medications after manufacturing problems led to a recall of these four popular drugs.

Although the pharmaceutical firm has not released any reports of adverse drug reactions, it is possible that consumers could sustain serious injuries from the manufacturing errors. The company recently admitted that it had been mixing medications together in the same bottle, which may result in individuals taking the wrong pill or tablet. There have also been reports that some of the pills packaged in one of their American plants have been chipped or broken.

While there have not yet been any reported problems associated with the Novartis' manufacturing mistake, the defective medications could lead to several problems. With the possible mixing of medications or cross-contamination, anyone with a medical allergy to one or several different types of medicines could experience a serious allergic reaction. It is also possible that someone could either get too much or too little of the drug they intended to take. Finally, an unwitting consumer could potentially take medicines that will interfere with or cause an adverse interaction with medicines he or she is already taking.

Novartis has taken responsibility for its defective manufacturing by publically admitting their mistakes and issuing a recall of four popular medicines, but if a consumer is injured from these medicines the company can still be held responsible. No one should have to worry that he or she will develop medical complications for taking a simple over-the-counter medicine according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Source: Pioneer Press, "Novartis recalls Excedrin, NoDoz, Bufferin, Gas-X Prevention over reports of plant malfunction," Jan. 9, 2012

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