Why Are Drug Recalls Important to Watch For?

Have you ever had a prescription drug you use included in a recall? Drug recalls are scary occurrences that recommend you to return or dispose of your prescribed medications.

They happen for a variety of reasons, some of them being more dangerous than others. In a recent recall, the FDA found a carcinogen, NDMA, in Zantac. This is an example of a drug being recalled for significant safety reasons, but sometimes it’s for something minor like a mislabeling.

If you ever discover that one of your prescriptions is recalled, then you’ll likely want to know why this matters. Understanding why you need to pay attention to a drug recall will encourage you to take prompt action if one should ever affect you.

We’ll explain this information below to ensure that you take any drug recall seriously!

Misleading Labeling

One reason why drugs are recalled is because of misleading labeling.

Every prescription comes with two important components; instructions on how to properly use them and the label.

The medication instructions are fairly straightforward as they outline how you’re meant to take the pill. This includes dosing instructions like how frequently you should be taking a pill when this should be occurring, and how much you should take at a given time.

As you might imagine, this information is critical for ensuring that you get the right amount of medication. If a prescription bottle offers incorrect suggestions, then you won’t get the intended benefit from taking it.

Another way this can happen is if the label itself is wrong. Labels indicate what the prescription is and its strength. Errors can happen if the label indicates a different prescription or strength.

Either mistake is dangerous because it leads you into a false sense of security. You don’t know what you’re taking when there’s an instruction or labeling error.

Defective Products

Drug recalls also happen because the product is defective.

If a prescription is being recalled because it is defective, then this typically means that it wasn’t working properly. In this scenario, taking the pill won’t necessarily hurt you, but it also won’t add any benefit.

For example, if you needed to take daily blood pressure pills, then a defective prescription would be the equivalent of taking sugar pills each day. Not particularly harmful, but also not doing you any good.

This is a waste of your time and effort. There is no good reason to ingest a substance, particularly if it is not giving you the intended effect.

Regardless of why a prescription is defective, you should stop taking it as soon as possible. You likely need a working prescription, so understanding that yours is defective will expedite finding an effective solution.

Harmful Substances

Most importantly, you should watch for drug recalls because they might contain harmful substances.

This is the drug recall reason that you should pay the most attention to because it carries genuine risk. Should you consume a prescription with a harmful substance, then you may develop health complications or death in severe circumstances.

Contaminated prescriptions often contain a substance known as a carcinogen. This is a compound linked to cancer, which means that prolonged use of the pill could lead to cancer.

The carcinogen raising the greatest concern lately is n-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is the substance that was found in Zantac. NDMA is highly dangerous and causes cancers of various organs in your digestive tract.

With this in mind, drug recalls matter because they might mean you’re taking something deadly!

FDA Enforcement Is Lacking

Finally, you need to pay attention to drug recalls because enforcement from the FDA is severely lacking.

Think about the last drug recall you were impacted by if that’s ever happened to you. Did anyone force you to hand over your pills? Did anyone check to make sure that you did dispose of them?

The answer to both questions is no. This points out the fact that drug recalls come with little to no enforcement. In other words, it’s up to you to ensure that a contaminated or defective prescription is properly handled.

The FDA approaches drug recalls with liability in mind. This entails disclosing that a drug is being recalled and the responsibility seems to end there.

Prescription recalls are important and need to be taken more seriously. Even if the FDA won’t or can’t do more to help consumers avoid defective pills, you can and this is why you must always be on the lookout.

Closing Thoughts

Drug recalls happen often and for one of a few common reasons. Many recalls are fairly harmless while others are a glaring cause for concern.

A few reasons why drugs are recalled include misleading labeling, being a defective product, and containing harmful substances. Making matters worse, FDA enforcement is lacking and this puts the onus on you to react quickly to a recall.

If you ever discover that a prescription you take has been recalled, don’t delay in acting! Quickly dispose of the pills and ensure that you don’t take them anymore to minimize any negative consequences.