Children’s Medications – Safe Or Not?

When parents administer over-the-counter pediatric medicines to their children, they most likely trust that these medicines are safe and have been produced in a tightly controlled environment with the best equipment. It is not an unreasonable assumption. After all, medicine is supposed to help rather than hurt. Sadly, an article in the Washington Post reveals that the plant that is responsible for the production of a large number of pediatric medicines has some serious quality control and safety issues.

The plant in question, located in Fort Washington, PA, is owned by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, which is a division of Johnson & Johnson. The plant is the sole manufacturer of Tylenol for children and infants as well as other popular over-the-counter pediatric drugs, such as Motrin, Benadryl, and Zyrtec.

An investigation by the Food and Drug Administration uncovered a number of troubling things at the plant, including the use of bacteria-contaminated raw materials. In addition, McNeil had received nearly 50 consumer complaints about dark flecks appearing in some medications, but McNeil failed to respond or investigate the matter.

McNeil announced a voluntary recall of 43 over-the-counter pediatric medicines that could affect some 70 percent of the entire market of over-the-counter pediatric medicines. Though FDA investigators say the recalled medications likely are not dangerous, they advise consumers to stop using the medications immediately and to seek alternatives.