HHP Medication Safety Watch: October 2021


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 due to contamination with impurities

Comment: The makers of this hand sanitizer recalled 10 lots of this product because FDA testing found "several impurities." The impurities were not named, but long-term exposure to them by inhaling or consuming them or absorbing them through the skin could lead to leukemia, other cancers, and other blood disorders.

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.

Antifungal sprays recalled due to possible contamination with benzene

  • Lotrimin AF and Tinactin antifungal sprays (maker: Bayer U.S. LLC) — these include
    • Lotrimin Anti-Fungal Athlete's Foot Powder Spray
    • Lotrimin Anti-Fungal Jock Itch Athlete's Foot Powder Spray
    • Lotrimin Anti-Fungal Athlete’s Foot Deodorant Powder Spray
    • Lotrimin AF Athlete's Foot Liquid Spray
    • Lotrimin AF Athlete’s Foot Daily Prevention Deodorant Powder Spray
    • Tinactin Jock Itch Powder Spray
    • Tinactin Athlete’s Foot Deodorant Powder Spray
    • Tinactin Athlete’s Foot Powder Spray
    • Tinactin Athlete’s Foot Liquid Spray

Comment: This recall affects all nine of the company’s antifungal spray products due to possible contamination with benzene. Benzene is considered a carcinogen (a substance that can cause cancer). It can be absorbed through the skin. Extensive exposure, including repeated exposure over time, can cause leukemia, other cancers, and blood disorders.

Prescription medicines

Pain reliever recalled due to incorrect dose

Comment: One lot of methocarbamol 500mg tablets has been recalled because some bottles of this medicine were discovered to contain 750 mg tablets. Taking this higher dose could cause nausea, sleepiness, falls, or fainting. Very high amounts of methocarbamol may cause seizure, coma, and even death.

Methocarbamol is prescribed for back pain or strains and other painful musculoskeletal conditions.

Blood pressure medicine recalled due to possible cancer-causing contaminant

Comment: This recall followed routine testing that revealed an impurity, N-nitrosoirbesartan, in some batches of this medicine. N-nitrosoirbesartan is described as a probable human carcinogen.

Irbesartan, with or without hydrocholorothiazide, is prescribed to lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure, and to protect the kidneys in persons with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

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.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Sign Up
Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.