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What if a drug you are taking has been recalled?

You have likely heard horror stories about people dying or suffering serious injuries after taking contaminated drugs. Your fear, then, is well-founded after hearing that a drug you have been taking has been recalled. Whether you purchased it over the counter at a pharmacy in Baton Rouge or it was prescribed by your doctor, defective drugs can present significant dangers. So what should you do when you find out about a recall?

The most important step is to educate yourself as to the nature of the recall. This may not only help calm some of your fears, but it will also inform you about what you should do with the product itself (in many cases, you be entitled to be reimbursed for its expense). The U.S Food and Drug Administration classifies recalls based on the level of risk they present. Its recall categories are broken down as follows:

  •          Class I: Exposure to the recalled product presents a reasonable probability of serious health problems or death 
  •          Class II: Exposure to the recalled product could produce temporary health problems that are treatable
  •          Class III: Exposure to the recalled product is unlikely to affect your health

You can discover what class of recall your drug falls into by visiting the FDA website.

While the FDA recognizes that a majority of drug recalls are classified as Class I, you should not immediately panic if the drug you are taking falls into that category. The recall could be a proactive measure to address a packaging or labeling issue. In any event, stop taking the drug immediately. Either return it to where it was purchased or dispose of it as per the FDA’s instructions. If you begin to feel adverse effects, contact your doctor immediately. 

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