HHP Medication Safety Watch: November 2020


This list contains selected items from the full FDA list of recalls, withdrawals, and alerts for medicines and certain health products. We've provided links to FDA information for each product and its maker. Unless otherwise noted, these actions apply only to the specific brand name of the product listed. Talk to your healthcare provider before stopping or changing any medicines or treatments that they have recommended for you.

Over-the-counter products and medicines

Nutritional supplement contains an unapproved food additive

Comment: All 2020 batches of this product have been voluntarily recalled by its maker after it was found to contain hordenine HCl, an unapproved and potentially unsafe food additive that may cause rapid heart rate and high blood pressure.

"Immune booster" is considered an unapproved new drug

Comment: All 2020 batches of this product have been voluntarily recalled after the FDA determined it to be an unapproved new drug. This determination was due to statements made on the drug's label.

Oral rinse may have bacterial contamination

  • Chlorhexidine Gluconate Oral Rinse USP, 0.12% Alcohol free (maker: Loxha LLC)

Comment: Some batches of this product may be contaminated with a bacterium called Burkholderia lata. Use of the rinse could cause serious or even life-threatening infections (such as pneumonia), especially among those with a suppressed immune system. This oral rinse is used to treat gum inflammation (gingivitis).


Prescription medicines

Metformin may be contaminated with a compound that may cause cancer

Comment: Metformin is prescribed for type 2 diabetes. Some lots of this medicine contained a higher than acceptable level of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a known carcinogen (a compound that may cause cancer).

In recent months, the FDA has issued recalls regarding more than 250 products containing metformin. See this link for the full list.



Read additional issues of HHP Medication Safety Watch


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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