Check your medicine cabinet! How to find recalled drugs

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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. 

NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES – 2009/05/30: Pain relief medicine at a pharmacy. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images))


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:
Medical syringes and FDA logo displayed in the background are seen in this illustration photo.

Medical syringes and FDA logo displayed in the background are seen in this illustration photo.
(Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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. 

FDA sign.


Keep your tech-know going 

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode. 

PODCAST PICK: Ford helps police, another Prime Day, John McAfee’s crazy crimes 

Get ready for electric police chases, thanks to Ford’s police partnership. I’ve got all the details, plus the inside scoop on leaked Amazon documents. Looks like we’re getting another Prime Day. Also, you can now wear smart scarves to keep cool. My advice: Wear one while you watch Netflix’s true crime story on John McAfee. 

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

Just search for my last name, “Komando.” 


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