By Stephanie Stahl

By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A giant drug mix-up. The FDA has issued a warning about powerful prescription pain drugs and over-the-counter medications like Excedrin and Gas-X. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl is here now to sort out the mess.

CBS-3 spoke to officials from the FDA who are emphatic in saying the risk of people getting the wrong drug is low, but they’re continuing to investigate. This is a little confusing, we have two separate issues.

Today the FDA issued a warning about prescription painkillers, and yesterday the recall of over-the-counter meds. Drugs like Percocet and Gas-X may have been mixed up.

The ShopRite in South Philadelphia has pulled the recalled non-prescription medications from store shelves.

“It’s good they’re on it. Ya know prevent people from getting sick,” said Patty DeSimone, of South Philadelphia.

On Sunday, Novartis voluntarily recalled Excedrin, No-Doz, Bufferin and Gas-X products because of problems at a manufacturing plant. It said the medications may contain broken tablets or other products.

Now the FDA says those other products could be powerful painkillers made at the same plant.

“You need to definitely be concerned about some of the side effects if the drugs were mixed so some of the drugs that could have been mixed cause a lot more drowsiness than your Excedrin or Bufferin,” said Michael O’Neal, a Pharmacy Manager.

The FDA says patients taking Percocet and other painkillers made by Endo Pharmaceuticals should carefully examine the pills or check with a pharmacists. FDA officials say they are not recalling the painkillers because they are essential medications.

“They know that these prescription drugs are widespread are used around the country. And so they don’t want to create any irrational fear,” said Michael.

The public health advisory doesn’t address the non-prescription drugs that could be contaminated with opioids.

“They shouldn’t be put in the stores. They should do their job and make sure that the pills are okay for these people,” said Arlene Morrissey, of South Philadelphia.

This drug mix-up could affect millions of people. At this point there have only been complaints about damaged pills, but no reports of people being hurt or complaining about adverse reactions to the drugs.

If you have questions regarding the Novartis product recall you can call the company at 1-888-477-2403.

If someone is taking Endo Pharmaceutical prescription drugs in question they can be reached at 1-800-462-3636.


FDA Opioid Prescription Drug Warning
Novartis OTC Recall Information

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