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Pfizer recalls depression drug in US

Wrong medicine found in bottle of Effexor XR

Pfizer Effexor XR recall 
Pfizer's recalled Effexor XR (top) and Tikosyn (bottom)

Pfizer has recalled several lots of a depression drug in the US after the wrong medicine was found in one bottle.

A pharmacist reported that a bottle of Pfizer's Effexor XR (venlafaxine HCl) – approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder – also contained one capsule of the company's Tikosyn (dofetilide), which is intended to treat irregular heartbeats.

Potential side effects of Tikosyn include a type of abnormal heartbeat called Torsade de Pointes, which can lead to death, said Pfizer. The company also warned of potential contraindications and drug-drug interactions that patients may have if they mistakenly take Tikosyn.

Pfizer played down the risk of a patient actually taking the drug, however, commenting that were was a “low probability” that other bottles of Effexor XR were affected.

The company is still taking precautionary measures and is recalling three lots of Effexor XR produced on the same line as the contaminated bottle.

The recalled products include one lot of 30-count Effexor XR 150mg, one lot of 90-count Effexor XR 150mg and one lot of generic venlafaxine HCl marketed by Pfizer subsidiary Greenstone LLC.

Pharmacists are advised that the numbers of these lots are V130142, V130140 and V130014.

The recall goes right down to patient level, and patients taking Effexor XR are advised to contact their physician if they experience nay problems, in particular if they feel faint, become dizzy or have a fast heartbeat.

Although voluntary, Pfizer said the recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the US FDA.

Article by
Thomas Meek

7th March 2014

From: Sales, Regulatory, Healthcare

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