More Musty Tylenol Recalled

Johnson & Johnson is issuing yet another Tylenol recall because of a musty smell. This time, the recall by Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit involves one product lot – 128,000 bottles – of <"">Tylenol 8 Hour caplets 50 count bottles at the retail level.

According to McNeil’s recall notice, the company has received a “small” number of complaints regarding a musty odor. The odor is thought to be caused by the presence of trace amounts of a chemical called 2, 4, 6-tribromoanisole. The source of 2,4,6-tribromoanisole is believed to be the breakdown of a chemical used to treat wooden pallets that transport and store packaging materials that leached into the products at a company plant in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico.

McNeil issued its first recall for musty-smelling Tylenol last November – for five lots of Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplet 100 count bottles, with the distinctive red EZ-OPEN CAP – after consumers complained of a musty odor, which was associated with nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. That recall was expanded in December to include all lots of the Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplets. Then in January, the list of recalled drugs was expanded yet again to include various lots of Tylenol, Rolaids, Benadryl and St. Joseph’s Aspirin. In July, McNeil issued a follow-up to the January recall that included several Tylenol formulas, including children’s Tylenol, the painkiller Motrin, and Benadryl allergy tablets.

McNeil characterized today’s action as “precautionary” and said that the risk of health problems from the recalled Tylenol was remote. The recall notice stated that observed events reported in relation to the recalled lot were temporary and non-serious. Information on UPC codes and the lot number involved in this recall can be found here.

Over the past year, McNeil has issued a string of recalls for millions of bottles of medicine for various problems. The largest occurred in April, and involved 40 varieties of children’s Tylenol and other medicines. McNeil has since shut the Fort Washington, PA facility that made some of the recalled drugs to address manufacturing problems cited by a federal inspection. The plant is expected to stay closed well into next year, and 75 percent of its workforce has been laid off.

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