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How to find recalled drugs
© Dzmitry Skazau |

Check your medicine cabinet! How to find recalled drugs

When was the last time you went through your medicine cabinet? Drug recalls are common, but you may miss the news and take a recalled medication anyway.

The same happens with car recalls. We’re driving along, blissfully unaware of a major recall. Here’s how to search for recalls affecting your vehicle.

That’s scary, but taking dangerous medicine could be even worse. I’ll show you how to start a prescription drug audit to ensure your meds are safe to take.

Here’s how drug recalls work

A recall is usually voluntary action taken by a company to remove a defective product from the market. This can apply to anything from cars to television sets. Sometimes a recall is mandated by the government.

When it comes to drug companies, the FDA has three classes of recall:

  • Class I recalls are the most serious. In these situations, there is a “reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.”
  • Class II recalls are when “use of or exposure to a violative product may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences or where the probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote.”
  • Class III recalls are “not likely to cause adverse health consequences.”

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Check your medications

So, how do you know if a medication you take or one sitting in your cabinet is safe to use? It’s worth doing an audit of your medicine cabinet a couple of times a year. Of course, toss out anything that’s expired.

Then it’s time to check the status of all your prescription and over-the-counter medications by visiting Follow these steps:

  • Type in the brand name or product description in the Search field. For example, you can search for Advil or the generic ibuprofen name.
  • Click on the Product Type drop-down menu to narrow your search results.
  • You’ll get a list of drugs that match your query. You can export the results to Excel by clicking the Export Excel button.
  • If you see your product in the list, click on it to visit a page with a summary of the recall and more details behind it. You may also get instructions on returning a defective product and contact information for the manufacturer.

The results on this page come from press releases and other public notices. You may own a medication that has an active recall but doesn’t come up in the search. The Enforcement Reports program contains information on recalls soon after they are classified by the FDA, along with pending recalls.

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Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”

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