If You Take This Pain Medication, Stop Now, FDA Warns


Whether it's due to an injury or an ongoing medical ailment, living with chronic or sudden pain can be a debilitating experience. Fortunately, plenty of medicines can help make you more comfortable, both in over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription forms. But if you're someone who uses pain medication daily, you may want to take a moment to check to see whether it's part of a recall that was just issued by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Read on to see which pills officials say may pose a serious health threat.

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This is the latest in a string of medication recalls.

So long as you make sure to carefully follow the directions printed on the bottle and your doctor's advice, you usually shouldn't have to worry about a medicine posing a serious health risk. But every so often, officials discover that certain products fail to live up to specific safety standards and issue a recall to protect the public.

On June 21, the FDA announced that Vi-Jon, LLC had voluntarily recalled CVS Magnesium Citrate Saline Laxative Oral Solution Lemon Flavor, which it produced for the pharmacy chain. Officials decided to pull the product after samples of the drug tested positive for the bacteria Gluconacetobacter liquefaciens, posing a serious health risk to immunocompromised patients.

And on June 16, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recall of two types of Kroger-brand acetaminophen and Walgreens-branded acetaminophen, which is the generic name for the OTC pain and fever reliever commonly known by the brand name Tylenol. The stores pulled the pills from shelves because they violated the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA), which requires that drugs like acetaminophen are sold in child-resistant packaging for safety reasons. Now, officials are alerting the public to another medication-related health risk.

The FDA just issued a recall of one particular prescription pain medication.

On June 29, the FDA announced that California-based Bryant Ranch Prepack Inc. had issued a voluntary recall of one lot of its Morphine Sulfate 30 mg Extended-Release tablets and Morphine Sulfate 60 mg Extended-Release tablets. According to the notice, the affected 30 mg tablets are printed with lot number 179642 and expiration date 11/30/2023, while the 60 mg carry lot number 179643 and expiration date 08/31/2023. Both come packaged in 100-tablet bottles.

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A serious packaging error could put anyone taking the tablets at risk.

The FDA says the company recalled the tablets after it was found that some of the packages had been incorrectly labeled, with 30 mg tablets labeled as 60 mg tablets and 60 mg tablets labeled as 30 mg. According to the agency, the mixup could put those taking the medication in grave danger.

"Patients prescribed the 30 mg dose who receive the 60 mg dose could be at risk for overdose and death. Patients prescribed the 60 mg dose who receive the 30 mg dose may experience withdrawal and untreated pain if the dose given is too low," the notice reads.

The notice clarifies that 30 mg dose tablets are round, purple-colored, and film-coated debossed with "RD" and "71" on one side while plain on the other. The 60 mg tablets can be identified as round, light-orange colored, film-coated tablets with "RD" and "72" printed on one side.

Here's what you should do if you have the recalled medication in your cabinet.

Because of the danger a potential mixup poses, the FDA warns all customers who have the affected medication to stop using it immediately and to contact Bryant Ranch Prepack Inc. by emailing [email protected]. Customers can also call 877-885-0882 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. Anyone who experiences problems related to taking the recalled tablets should also contact their doctor or healthcare provider immediately.