Recall: Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, St. Joseph Aspirin and Rolaids

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Recalled products by McNeil

Holy Cow! Is there anything left in my medicine cabinet that hasn’t been recalled?! Oh, Thank God my Tums will still work!

Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, St. Joseph Aspirin, Rolaids Recall

Containers’ Moldy Odor to Blame for Recall of 60 Million Over-the-Counter Products

Jan. 15, 2010 — Because of a sickening smell in some containers, 54 million packages of 27 different over-the-counter remedies now are being recalled.

Products include various types of child and/or adult Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, St. Joseph Aspirin, Rolaids, and Simply Sleep. This adds to the 6 million packages of Tylenol recalled late last year, bringing the total number of recalled products to 60 million.  A musty, moldy odor coming from the products has sickened at least 70 people with nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The symptoms go away by themselves and no one has been seriously injured.

The FDA says Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Health Care knew of the problem for more than a year. When the company did act in November and December 2008, it did too little too late, said Deborah M. Autor, director of the FDA’s Office of Compliance.

“When something smells bad, literally or figuratively, companies must aggressively investigate and take all actions necessary to solve the problem,” Autor said at a news conference. “McNeil should have acted faster.”

The odor comes from a chemical, 2,4,6-tribromoanisole or TBA. TBA is produced when fungi break down a commonly used fungicide called 2,4,6-tribromophenol. The full health effects of TBA are not known. Before being filled with product, product containers were stored on wooden pallets apparently treated with the fungicide. TBA seems to have infiltrated the product containers before they were filled.  The FDA inspected McNeil’s main plant at Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, and was not happy with what it found. The FDA says McNeil began receiving complaints in May 2008, but failed to investigate fully or to warn consumers in a timely manner.  The FDA has given McNeil 15 days to respond to its seven-point warning letter. In addition to the contamination issue, the FDA says there are product-quality issues with some Motrin products.

Specific products included in the recall include:

Children’s Motrin
Children’s Tylenol
Extra Strength Tylenol
Regular Strength Tylenol
Tylenol 8 Hour
Tylenol Arthritis
Tylenol PM
Motrin IB
Simply Sleep
St. Joseph Aspirin
A complete list of the recalled products, including package sizes, product types, lot numbers, and UPC codes, can be seen at Consumers with question can call McNeil at 888-222-6036.

Consumers who think they may have suffered ill effects from the products should contact the FDA at

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  1. when will rolaids be back on shelves ??

  2. Hi Elizabeth,
    You clicked on a post from a January 2010 recall. The current recall info is here:

    Here is how to get a refund: (the form is at this web location).

    Refund / Product Coupon Request

    To receive a refund for product affected by the recall or a coupon good for future purchase, please complete this form in full with the required information. A representative from our Consumer Care Center may call you to verify your information.

    If you have more than 6 affected products, please complete a second form with the remaining products or call the Consumer Care Center at 1-888-222-6036. We understand that this may cause some inconvenience at this time and appreciate your patience. Our Consumer Care Center is available Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time, and Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

  3. do we toss them or send them back for a refund?

  4. Hi Garry
    After a bit of searching, I can’t find any new update on the recall. I”m sorry- can Tums be of help?

  5. when will rolaids be back on shelves?

  6. Is the Motrin recall permanent.I have never had any problems.
    It’s the only thing that works for me.

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