the big recall

I’m still trying to figure out just why, this week, McNeil Consumer Healthcare recalled basically every medication our kids ever take. They say it was due to manufacturing deficiencies that “may affect the potency, purity or quality of the products.” The latest vague revelations say that the medicines were recalled because of “dusty incubators” and/or “tiny metal specks” floating in the Cherry Blast Flavor goodness.

Let me be clear: I’m glad they recalled the stuff—better that then wait till “only” a dozen children get sick, or something, which seems to be what usually happens.  Still, I was a little miffed to throw away our Children’s Tylenol—still in its box—and a little more miffed to throw away the half-used Benadryl, which until two days ago seemed fine, and maybe still is, but now I’m out eight bucks. Worse still is the idea that I used half of it before being told there might be something ill-defined and terribly wrong with it.  I didn’t see any dark specks in the Benadryl. But I’d rather not find out the hard way that I was wrong. 

My pediatrician says the generic formulations of these medicines are okay to use, but I don’t buy it. Aren’t they all really made in the same place, just like all Chinese restaurants are rumored to be served by one vast, underground kitchen?

You can visit McNeil’s website here for a list of recalled medicines, but I’ll break it down for you: if you have infants’ or children’s liquid Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, or Zyrtec on your shelves, toss it.  (If you want a refund, actually, don’t toss it- go to that same site for instructions. Too late for me.) Whatever you do, don’t give your kids tiny doses of the adult versions, either—that’s more likely to be dangerous than the medicines you just threw out. Until we hear they’re safe to buy again, I guess we all just have to hope none of our kids get sick.

Is that God laughing?