J&J Recalls Tylenol Again After “Musty” Smell Returns

Johnson & Johnson has again been forced to recall Tylenol bottles due to a musty odor believed to be caused by pesticide. 

The company announced a recall of Tylenol 8 Hour caplets on Monday that affects 127,728 bottles after receiving reports of moldy and musty smells. The company believes the pills may be contaminated with trace amounts of a pesticide called 2,4,6-tribromoanisole; a pesticide used to treat wood pallets where the bottles are stored while waiting for distribution.

It is the second time in less than a year that Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare division has had to issue a Tylenol recall due to the problem. Late last year, the company recalled Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplets due to the same problem. That Tylenol recall was expanded three times throughout this year to include a large number of products sold throughout the U.S., Central America and the Caribbean. The recall ultimately included Benadryl, Motrin, Tylenol PM and other brands.

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The latest recall affects one lot of Tylenol 8 Hour caplets in 50-count bottles. The recalled pills have a lot number of BCM155 and a UPC code of 3 0045-0297-51 8. The lot number can be found on the side of the bottle label.

In previous cases of pesticide contamination, the pills have caused some users to suffer minor gastrointestinal illness, but there are no reports of illnesses associated with the latest recall.  

Along with a massive children’s liquid medication recall issued by McNeil earlier this year, Johnson & Johnson has faced a number of problems with quality control at their production plants, resulting in warning letters from the FDA and congressional scrutiny.

The children’s drug recall affected 136 million bottles of children’s medications, and resulted in the shutdown of the company’s Ft. Washington, Pennsylvania, plant, and the suspension of the production of all of McNeil’s children medications. Following that recall, the FDA has received nearly 800 complaints, including at least seven reports of deaths that may be associated with the medication. However, the FDA says its investigations so far have not directly linked any of the recalled products to any of the deaths.

Some lawmakers, who have started a congressional investigation into Johnson & Johnson’s drug manufacturing activities, are now pushing for expanded FDA power to force drug recalls to help the agency quickly deal with future drug contamination problems.

The company has recommended that any users who have the recalled Tylenol stop using it and contact McNeil Consumer Healthcare at www.tylenol.com for information on how to receive a refund or product coupon.


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