The popular medicine for headaches and other aches and pains is being discontinued temporarily until it is determined to be safe for use again. GlaxoSmithKline is the pharmaceutical company that manufactures Excedrin products, and it has announced the temporary recall.
The Reason Behind the Halt in Production
The products include Excedrin Extra Strength in caplets and gel tabs as well as Excedrin Migraine. The reason for the discontinuation is for inconsistencies in handling of the ingredients that go into the products. A spokesperson claims they have discovered inconsistencies in how the ingredients are weighed and transferred. However, they claim they do not believe the product poses a safety risk.
The halt of production is expected to be only temporary as everything is reviewed. However, many say that other products don’t work as well as Excedrin for migraine sufferers, which leads to concern among consumers on how long production will be down on these products.
The manufacturer recommends consumers to talk to their pharmacists about possible alternatives until production can resume. No timeline has been given for when production will start up again.
Medications for tension headaches and PM meds are still being produced and sold. The main ingredients in the Excedrin medications for migraine include acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine. While other products contain similar ingredients, the dosage may be different. It’s important to talk to a pharmacist who can recommend a product similar to Excedrin.
Generic versions of the medicine aren’t impacted by the halt in production. Many stores carry the generics next to the brand name, and these products contain the same ingredients.
Migraine sufferers may try a variety of products and treatments to get relief only to find they don’t work. For those who suffer from migraine headaches on a regular basis, they understand how debilitating it is. Some say that only Excedrin products will work, which has them concerned about how long production will be stopped and how it will impact their ability to function without the medication.
While prescription migraine medications are available, they are often chosen only as a last resort because of the side effects associated with the drugs. Many migraine sufferers are unable to work or function when a headache comes on. While the list of active ingredients in products like Excedrin Migraine are simple, it’s the unique combination and the amount included that seem to provide the most effective relief.
Both acetaminophen and aspirin reduce pain and increases the amount your body can tolerate. Caffeine narrows the blood vessels, which widen when you have a headache. It essentially increases the effectiveness of the other ingredients for faster and more noticeable improvement.
Migraines are more than just a headache; they can be debilitating and last for up to 72 hours. They often include throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head, causing nausea and sensitivity to sound or light. While the effects of the medication on migraine headaches isn’t completely understood, research shows that the combination of ingredients work together better than when they are taken alone.
Bayer Settles Roundup Lawsuit for Nearly $11 Billion
Bayer AG agreed to pay nearly $11 billion as a settlement for thousands of lawsuits over its product, Roundup. Plaintiffs filed lawsuits all across the US alleging that the herbicide causes cancer.
Bayer has been involved in lawsuits for almost two years. Currently, there have been around 125,000 suits claiming that the product was the direct cause of cancer diagnoses. The settlement takes care of almost 100,000 of those cases, most of which were set for trial. However, the manufacturer doesn’t admit to any wrongdoing or liability for its product.
The manufacturer has maintained that the active ingredient, glyphosate, is safe for use as intended. Independent studies have provided indications otherwise. The long battle has impacted the shares for the company as investors waited to see what would happen with the claims.
Bayer Inherits Problems with Roundup
Bayer was the heir for the claims when it purchased Monsanto, the company that made Roundup. The transaction was completed about two years ago, just as the first of the lawsuits began to gain traction.
This $11 billion settlement is the largest out of court agreement for any single product. It overtakes the deal from Merck over the painkiller Vioxx, which resulted in a $5 billion settlement.
According to a spokesperson for the company, Bayer will continue to manufacture and sell Roundup to customers. However, it will not include a label for cancer warning on the product. The settlement doesn’t prevent future cases from being filed.
Several agencies have claimed that glyphosate is safe for use and doesn’t cause cancer. Among those agencies are the European Chemicals Agency and the US Environmental Protection Agency. However, the World Health Organization claimed that the ingredient was a probable carcinogen. This decision came in 2015, and three juries in the US agreed with the determination after listening to evidence for both views.
Independent Scientific Research
Bayer still wants to clear its product from the shadow of accusations and prevent future litigation by allowing an independent study. Details have not been released on the proposal, but the company is betting that science will back the claim that Roundup is safe to use.
A federal judge will have to approve the proposal which must still have the details worked out. It is expected that both sides will have to agree on the panel of scientific experts. Bayer is prepared to pay $1.25 billion for the research needed by the panel. This amount doesn’t include future settlement payouts.
The review is expected to take as long as four years with the results being binding to both Bayer and any future plaintiffs. If the product is found to be safe, people who have used it up to now couldn’t sue. If it’s determined to be carcinogenic, it could open Bayer up to numerous new lawsuits that will have even more support of scientific research.
Even if the proposal is approved, it may face challenges in court. While scientific panels have been used in mass tort cases, they haven’t been included as part of the settlement agreement.
New Research Indicates Silicone from Breast Implants May Cause Cell Death
According to researchers, the silicone molecules which are found in breast implants may cause cells in the body to die. The information was published in Scientific Reports.
Silicone Molecules Killing Healthy Cells?
Silicone breast implants have been debated for many years. People who have had these implants have suffered from symptoms that appeared to be related to the implants. Many complained of fever, fatigue, painful muscles and joints and other symptoms. This study is the first to indicate that silicone may have an impact on cells.
It is well-known that silicone leaks out of the implants and enters the body. These molecules can get into the bloodstream or go through the lymphatic system and move through the body.
The question was what happens to the cells that come into contact with the silicone. This question led to research with cultured cells. What researchers noted was that contact with silicone molecules had a similar impact as when cells die naturally as part of the process of clearing cells out of the system. What was noted was that the smaller molecules had a stronger impact on the cells.
The researchers used three different cells, and one was more sensitive than the other two when exposed to the molecules. Researchers now wonder if the reaction led to a response of the autoimmune system, which may be why people had the negative side effects.
Continued Concerns Over Implants
The concern with breast implants isn’t new. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration wanted manufacturers to put a warning highlighted by a box in the information that women receive before getting implants. This request was made in October of 2019. The FDA also recommended have a checklist be provided to women that must be completed to make sure that they understand the possible issues with getting implants.
The FDA has said that women state they don’t feel fully informed of risks when they are thinking about getting the implants. Doctors should also explain to women that the implants shouldn’t be considered devices for life. Repeat surgeries are often required, and women should be aware of this risk. Statistics show that one in five women who get the implants for cosmetic improvement must get them removed within eight or ten years.
According to the FDA, around 400,000 women get these breast implants each year, but only 100,000 are from breast cancer surgery. The main reason for the use of breast implants is breast augmentation, which is the most common cosmetic surgery procedure done in the US.
Concern over breast implants has varied due to many potential issues with the devices. In July 2019, the FDA requested that Allergan remove the Biocell implant. It had been linked to an increased risk for a type of lymphoma.
Women have been linking a host of health issues to their implants and reporting them to the FDA. While more research is necessary to determine if the implants cause these symptoms, the FDA advocates that patients receive more information to determine if they want to have the surgery, so they are better prepared for possible complications.
More Brands Removing Talc from Beauty and Health Products
Cosmetic products receive a great deal of scrutiny on the ingredients used, testing methods and manufacturing processes. One of the more notable issues that has received attention in the media recently is with talc and the link to asbestos. The result is that manufacturers are changing their products to protect their reputations.
Dangers of Talc
Talc is mined from the same areas as asbestos, which can cause the two compounds to be present together unless the talc is purified. Asbestos is a known carcinogen that causes mesothelioma, an aggressive and rare form of cancer. Talc is used in cosmetic products, and it has been discovered that it may contain asbestos. Over time, a build-up in system of asbestos can cause cancer in women and anyone who uses these products.
Numerous lawsuits have been filed by people who were diagnosed with this type of cancer after using certain products containing talc for many years, even decades. Johnson& Johnson have received the most attention and have many lawsuits pending because of the talc in their baby powder. However, they aren’t the only company to have this issue.
The Move Away from Talc
More manufacturers are being faced with lawsuits because their products contained talc and allegedly, asbestos. These manufacturers are quietly taking steps to remove talc from the products. Among the big brand names are L’Oreal, Chanel and Revlon.
J&J recently banned talc from the formulations used in its products. The US Food and Drug Administration is still investigating claims of both mesothelioma and ovarian cancer linked to the baby powder.
Talc has been a popular ingredient in cosmetics and powders because it absorbs moisture. It helps prevent these products from getting caked. While talc can be found in liquids, it’s most prevalent in powders. This is also where it’s most dangerous since the powders can disperse particles into the air, which are inhaled.
Trending in the Right Direction
Talc isn’t the only option for the products even though it has been the most popular. Manufacturers can use plant starches, such as corn. These particles are larger which prevents them from being inhaled as easily. Since they aren’t minerals, they are less likely to be contaminated as well.
Many products still on the market contain talc, which you can identify by reading the list of ingredients. However, there are more talc-free alternatives, which often proudly display this fact on the packaging. Talc is a popular ingredient in blush, eye shadow, loose powder and other beauty and skin care products.
Revlon has removed talc from all products while L’Oreal is still considering what to replace the talc with. Chanel has removed one body powder product while other products still include talc on the list of ingredients. As more awareness is brought to the risk of asbestos in talc products, it’s expected to see manufacturers continue to find alternatives. People who have been using these products for 30 years or more appear to have the greatest risk for developing mesothelioma from the asbestos in the talc.
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