Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Recall Warning: Citalopram Bottles May Not Contain the Right Drug

By Marcia Purse, About.com Guide March 28, 2011:

Drug manufacturer Pfizer Inc.'s Greenstone unit has issued a recall on two of its generic drugs, the antidepressant citalopram, and the prostate drug finasteride (also used for male pattern baldness), because of a labeling snafu. Bottles labeled citalopram may contain finasteride and vice versa. Bottles with the brand names Celexa (citalopram) and Proscar or Propecia (finasteride) are not affected by the mislabeling.

Finasteride, a drug exclusively for men, should not be taken by women or children, nor even handled by pregnant women as it is known to cause fetal abnormalities.

Pfizer's press release says that citalopram shouldn't be taken by patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or Orap (pimozide), or by patients with a hypersensitivity to Celexa, citalopram or any of the inactive ingredients in the tablet.

Pfizer also warns that patients who discontinue citalopram abruptly by inadvertently taking the mislabeled product may experience discontinuation symptoms and/or worsening of depression.

According to Pfizer, medicines with the lot number FI0510058-A, including Citalopram 10mg Tablets (100-count bottle) and Finasteride 5mg Tablets (90-count bottle), should be returned to the pharmacy.

However, if your medication is given to you in a standard pharmacy bottle rather than in the bottle provided by the manufacturer, the lot numbers don't appear. If you are taking either of these medications, you may want to be prudent and have the pills checked by your pharmacy. If you learn you have been taking the wrong drug, contact your doctor immediately.

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