Possible Medication Switch Causes Recall

American Health Packaging is recalling many 600 mg ibuprofen tablets and a lot of the epilepsy drug, oxcarbazepine, in 300 mg tablets that were shipped. AmerisourceBergen issued the voluntary recall, because there is a chance that the two medications may have been switched in the blister packs.

The recall was issued over worries that the two drugs could be inadvertently administered to incorrect patients due to the mislabeled packaging. The problem was brought to American Health Packaging’s attention through a customer complaint. So far, no adverse reactions have been reported.

The ibuprofen tablets affected by the recall are from lot #142588 and have an expiration date of 01/2016. They are 600 mg and in a hospital unit dose presentation. They should not be taken because they may contain individual blistered doses labeled as oxcarbazepine tablets, 300 mg, lot #14544. The oxcarbazepine tablets affected by the recall are from lot #142544, and have an expiration date of 02/2016. They may contain the formerly identified lot of ibuprofen pills. These medications, intended for use at hospitals, were distributed across the United States starting June 20, 2014.

Drug Risks Posed by This Recall

Due to this packaging error, patients prescribed oxcarbazepine may be inadvertently given a dose of ibuprofen, and vice versa. Although no adverse reactions have yet been reported, taking the wrong medication could have serious negative consequences for hospital patients.

They also could develop serious complications from unexpected drug interactions.

The most serious risk, according to the company, is that patients who take the prescribed oxcarbazepine could miss a scheduled dose. As oxcarbazepine is a drug prescribed for epilepsy, even missing a single dose could cause a seizure. In fact, this risk was listed by American Health Packaging as the primary reason for the recall.

However, there are also risks in giving a patient ibuprofen when it is not prescribed. Although an over the counter drug is generally safe, ibuprofen can cause serious side effects when combined with certain drugs. Missing a dose of ibuprofen is generally not considered an emergency, as the medication is primarily used as an anti-inflammatory or mild pain reliever. However, not receiving a scheduled dose could cause a patient unnecessary pain.