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HHP Medication Safety Watch: November 2021

December 1, 2021

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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

Hand sanitizer recalled because containers resemble water bottles

Comment: The makers of this product are recalling it because their containers look like water bottles. This may increase the risk of accidentally drinking it. Hand sanitizers contain alcohol, and drinking them can cause poor coordination, slurred speech, sedation, or even coma and death due to alcohol toxicity. In addition, alcohol can interact poorly with many medicines and can impair driving.

See additional FDA recalls and alerts for more than 260 hand sanitizer products over the last two years due to contamination, inappropriate labeling, bacterial contamination, and other problems.

Odor-Eaters spray products recalled due to benzene contamination

  • Multiple Odor-Eaters spray powder products (maker: Blistex Inc.)
  • Multiple Odor-Eaters Stink Stoppers spray products (maker: Blistex Inc.)

Comment: Some lots of these products have been recalled due to contamination with benzene. Benzene is considered a carcinogen (a substance that can cause cancer). It can be absorbed through the skin. Extensive exposure to benzene, including repeated exposure over time, can cause leukemia, other cancers, and blood disorders.

Old Spice and Secret Aerosol Sprays recalled due to benzene contamination

Comment: Certain lots of these spray products are being recalled due to contamination with benzene. Benzene is considered a carcinogen (a substance that can cause cancer). It can be absorbed through the skin, by inhalation, or through the mouth. Extensive exposure to benzene, including repeated exposure over time, can cause leukemia, other cancers, and blood disorders. However, according to the FDA press release, the amount of benzene detected in these products would not be expected to cause health problems even with daily exposure.

These products are used as antiperspirants and for personal hygiene.


Read additional issues of HHP Medication Safety Watch

Disclaimer:

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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