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Effexor XR Recalled After Accidental Cross Contamination With Heart Drug

Pfizer Inc. announced on Thursday that it is recalling the antidepressant Effexor XR along with other generic versions of the drug because of an accidental oversight of cross contamination with a heart drug.

Sienna Watkins, The Almagest, Mar 10, 2014

The heart drug Tikosyn was allegedly found in some bottles of Effexor by a pharmacist. Tikosyn, also known as dofetilide, is a heart medication produced by Pfizer. One 0.25 milligram capsule found in a bottle of Effexor is said to have been unknowingly put in on the same line with Effexor.

“Although Pfizer has not received any other such reports, these three lots are being voluntarily recalled as a precaution because they were packaged on the same line,” the company said in an announcement.

Some side effects of Effexor often include loss of appetite, anxiety, insomnia, drowsiness, and nausea. Mixed with its ingredient venlafaxine, Tikosyn can lead to irregular heartbeats or even death.

The company said that among three lots, there were also 104,450 bottles of medicines with nearly 65,800 of which had reached pharmacies in the country. This recall has included one lot of 30-count bottles of Effexor XR, one lot of 90-count bottles of the branded drug and one lot of venlafaxine 150 mg extended release capsules, sold by Greenstone LLC.

WebMd’s article says that not all drug lots were recalled or contaminated, but Pfizer did so as a precaution to ensure safety for those taking the medicine.

“Pfizer has responded rapidly to this situation to ensure the safety of patients who take our medicines,” Pfizer said. “This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the US Food and Drug Administration.”

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