NEW YORK — Johnson & Johnson said Friday it was recalling several varieties of its Tylenol painkiller for children due to confusing packaging information that could lead to young patients being given overly high doses of the over-the-counter medicine.
Johnson & Johnson was recalling all lots and flavors of the following: Children’s Tylenol Meltaways (80 milligram dose) that come in bottles and blister packs; Children’s Tylenol SoftChews that come in 80 milligram blister packs; and Jr. Tylenol Meltaways that come in 160 milligram blister packs.
Blister packages allow patients to push a pill through thin packaging material and are designed to be convenient for parents who need dosing flexibility depending on the age or weight of the child, according to the company. The package design includes blister cavities that contain one tablet while other cavities contain two tablets.
As a result parents may mistakenly believe that the two tablets contain the recommended 80-milligram dose of the active ingredient acetominophen, when two tablets would actually provide 160 milligrams.
Taking large amounts of Tylenol can cause liver damage.
'The product is fine'
Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals division has been working with the Food and Drug Administration on the voluntary recall since March, according to a McNeil Consumer spokeswoman. The Meltaways tablets have been available since last fall.
"The product is fine," spokeswoman Kathy Fallon told MSNBC. "To our knowledge there has been no serious event related to the packaging."
The recall does not apply to any Tylenol children's liquid product, she said.
The company suggests that parents or caregivers with concerns about the tablets call 1-877-895-3665 (English) or 1-888-466-8746 (Spanish) or visit the Tylenol Web site.
Reuters contributed to this report