Pfizer Recalls Antidepressant Effexor After Packaging Mixup

After a a capsule of a heart medication was discovered in a bottle of the antidepressant drug Effexor XR (venlafaxine), Pfizer Inc. has recalled two lots of Effexor and one lot of generic venlafaxine.

A 25-mg Tikosyn capsule was discovered in a bottle of Effexor XR, according to the drug maker’s press release, posted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Tikosyn (dofetilide) is used to treat irregular heartbeat and if it is taken by a patient “where the contraindications and drug-drug interactions with Tikosyn have not been considered by the prescribing physician, [it] could cause serious adverse health consequences that could be fatal.” Although Pfizer, to date, has not received any other such reports, the company has undertaken the recall as a precaution because the two drugs were packaged on the same line.

Included in the recall are one lot of 30-count Effexor XR (venlafaxine HCl) 150 mg extended-release capsules, one lot of 90-count Effexor XR (venlafaxine HCl) 150 mg extended-release capsules, and one lot of 90-count Greenstone LLC-branded Venlafaxine HC1 150 mg extended-release capsules. The Pfizer drug lot numbers are V130142 and V130140, and have an expiration date of October 2015. The Greenstone lot number is V130014, with an expiration date of August 2015, HealthDay News reports.

The FDA has advised pharmacists to immediately stop selling the recalled lots and notify customers who have purchased the drugs. Distributors who have stock of the recalled drug should contact Stericycle Inc. at 1.888.345.0481 for instructions on returning the product. Patients should return with the recalled drugs to their pharmacy. Any patient who may have mistakenly taken a Tikosyn capsule should contact a doctor or a hospital immediately. They should monitor themselves for signs of abnormal heartbeat and seek medical help if they feel faint, become dizzy, or have a fast heartbeat, Pfizer said.

More information about the recall can be obtained by calling Pfizer at 1.800.438.1985, Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.





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