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Published: Monday, 1/9/2012

FDA warns of pill mix-up with powerful painkiller drugs

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration is warning patients about a potential mix-up between powerful prescription pain drugs and common over-the-counter medications like Excedrin and Gas-X made at a Novartis manufacturing plant.

The problem is a result of major manufacturing problems at a Lincoln, Neb., facility which was shut down last month. The Swiss drugmaker has recalled bottles of Excedrin, Bufferin and other medications which may have included mixed up pills.

Now the FDA says some of those over-the-counter pills may have accidentally been packaged with powerful prescription painkillers made at the same facility. The opioid drugs are sold by Endo Pharmaceuticals as Percocet, Endocet, Opana and Zydone.

FDA officials say they are not recalling the drugs because they are medically necessary and the likelihood that they contain stray pills is low.



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