Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals is warning consumers and doctors that Betaseron, a multiple sclerosis medication, was shipped with recalled alcohol prep pads manufactured by Triad Group, which may be contaminated and pose a risk of potentially life-threatening infections.
The Betaseron warning applies only to Triad alcohol prep pads shipped with the drug, and does not apply to the Betaseron itself. The prep pads may be contaminated with Bacillus cereus, which may be pushed into the body by the needle or cause a skin infection.
Earlier this month the FDA announced a Triad Group alcohol prep pad recall that affected pads, alcohol swabs and swabsticks, due to the risk of potential contamination. The prep pads, swabs and swabsticks were sold together with several medications and individually under a variety of labels, including CVS and Walgreens brands.
Bacillus cereus is responsible for about two percent of all foodborne illness, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Illness comes within 24 hours after exposure and can result in a diarrheal illness. Serious illness and permanent injury are very rare.
Betaseron was packaged with the pads in the United States, and Bayer has halted shipments of the drug until the company can find a replacement for the alcohol prep pads. Bayer said it is currently in the process of getting more information on the problem from the FDA and Triad.
In the interim, the company recommends that patients stop using the Triad alcohol prep pads that were shipped with the Betaseron and throw those pads away. Patients should use a non-Triad sterile alcohol prep pad or a sterile gauze pad along with isopropyl alcohol to clean the injection site before taking a Betaseron injection.
Patients with questions should contact their healthcare provider or contact BETAPLUS at 1-800-788-1467 and choose option 1.