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Key facts about drug recalls

Many people take prescription and over-the-counter medications for an array of ailments. Those people can experience concern when the drug they're taking is the subject of a drug recall.

Drug recalls happen for an array of reasons. Generally speaking, they happen because a particular drug has been found to be defective in some way or potentially harmful. Naturally, in such cases, manufacturers want people to stop taking the drug being recalled in order to protect the people's health and to protect the manufacturer from liability.

One specific reason for a recall is the drug itself being found to be dangerous. This happens when it is determined that the drug has dangerous effects that were not known previously. This happens often, as drugs affect many aspects of a person's body in ways that may take time to show up.

Additionally, a drug recall may happen when the drug is packaged poorly or is mislabeled. Poor packaging can easily result in contamination and corresponding negative health effects on the person taking the drug. A mislabeled package can result in a person taking too much or too little of the drug or not being aware of the side effects and interactions with other drugs. Mislabeling, in some cases, may even misidentify which drug is in the particular package. In those cases, the wrong information can be deadly.

If a drug you are taking is recalled, immediately make sure that no more of it is taken and inform your doctor and others who are responsible for your medical care. Discard the drug in a way that ensures that no one else, like your children, can get it. Finally, report any adverse reactions you have to the FDA, and contact an experienced attorney to help you protect your legal rights.

Source: WebMD, "What Is a Drug Recall?," accessed May 26, 2017

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