Prescription drugs can be recalled for any number of reasons. Sometimes they are contaminated with substances that make them dangerous, or maybe they were mislabeled and ended up in the wrong packaging. Rarely, however, does a drug face recall because the company that produces it believes it’s not working as well as it should, but that’s exactly what is happening with Acella Pharmaceuticals and its “NP Thyroid” thyroid tablets.
According to a recall bulletin released by the company, “routine testing” of the pills found that they are sub potent. The test results revealed that there is less than 90% of the appropriate amount of the active ingredient(s), T3, and/or T4 thyroid hormones. The pills are used to treat hypothyroidism, which is an underactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid, but they are routinely confused). Now, the company is asking that anyone with the affected medications return them.
The risks of using a thyroid medication that is sub potent are similar to leaving a thyroid disorder go untreated. Over time, the medication may not be enough to keep symptoms away, leading to issues that mimic that of an underactive thyroid. These can include sensitivity to cold, dry skin, depression, fatigue, and swelling of the thyroid gland itself. Individuals may also experience rapid weight gain or find it more difficult to lose weight.
The company says that it has received at least 43 reports “of serious adverse events that could possibly be related to this recall,” but doesn’t provide much detail as to what those events were. If they were a worsening of hypothyroidism symptoms, that would make perfect sense, since the medication wasn’t potent enough to prevent them from recurring.
The company’s advice:
Acella is proactively notifying its consignees to discontinue distribution of the above referenced lots being recalled and is arranging for return of all recalled products. Patients who are currently taking NP Thyroid® from the lots being recalled should not discontinue use without contacting their healthcare provider for further guidance and/or a replacement prescription.
On the recall page, there is an attached document with all of the lot numbers and expiration dates associated with this recall. If you take NP Thyroid tablets in any dosage amount from 15mg up to 120mg you should take a look at the list and see if the bottles you have match up with the recalled lots.
If you find that you do indeed have some of the recalled medication, don’t stop taking it until you contact your healthcare provider and arrange for a replacement. The company has also provided its contact information on the recall page in case you have questions or concerns about the recall or the medication:
Consumers with questions about the recall can email Acella Pharmaceuticals at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our representatives at 1-888-424-4341, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm ET.