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Why was Excedrin recalled in 2012?

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Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., voluntarily recalled a number of types of Excedrin and other pain medications in 2012 because of the risk of the recalled items containing tablets or capsules from other products, reports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The tablets in the products may also have been broken or chipped. Consumers risked taking the wrong dose of pain medication or a completely different medication, which could have caused an overdose or allergic reaction.

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The recall notice urged consumers to stop using the affected products, which included over-the-counter medications such as Excedrin and NoDoz as well as prescription medicines containing opiates, explains WebMD. The company expressed a concern that the opiates could have been mixed with the over-the-counter drugs. The recall affected drugs retailed in the United States only.

FDA investigators wrote an inspection report criticizing management at the plant that produced the medications in 2011, and Novartis shut down the plant late that year to facilitate maintenance and improvements, notes WebMD. After the plant shutdown and product recall, consumers were unable to obtain products such as Excedrin Migraine, and hawkers began selling the scarce medications for highly inflated prices on eBay and other Internet sales sites, according to ABC News. Excedrin products returned to shop shelves in October 2012, states HealthCentral.

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