Certain lots of children and infant Tylenol have been recalled, as they could be contaminated with bacteria.
On September 18, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson that makes Tylenol, sent a letter to healthcare professionals warning that 21 lots of children’s Tylenol products could be contaminated with Burkholderia cepacia (B. cepacia) bacteria.
The Tylenol recall affects certain batches Children’s Tylenol Suspension, Infant Tylenol Suspension, Children’s Tylenol Plus Cough & Runny Nose, Children’s Tylenol Plus Cold/ Allergy and Infant Tylenol Drops and other infant and children’s products of various flavors and sizes.
B. Cepacia is a type of bacteria and known human pathogen that can cause pneumonia in individuals with compromised immune systems or who suffer from lung diseases such as pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis or chronic granulomatous disease. McNeil’s letter to healthcare professionals said that the bacteria were detected in raw ingredients used to manufacture its children’s Tylenol products.
There have been no injuries or illnesses reported in connection to the contaminated medicine. McNeil has said the recall is precautionary, and they have not found actual bacteria in finished Tylenol products. The company said that while it is unknown whether the bacteria can cause an infection through ingestion, it has been known to cause infections through the use of nasal sprays and mouthwashes.
The affected batches were manufactured between from April through June 2008, and a full list of recalled lots can be found in a copy of the letter sent to doctors, which is posted on the Tylenol website. The lot numbers are located on the bottom of the box as well as on the label of the bottles.
Parents and caregivers who believe they have a recalled product can contact the McNeil Customer Care Center at 1-800-962-5357 for a coupon for a new bottle. If anyone suspects they have given a child any of the recalled products, they should contact their health care provider regarding any concerns.