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If you use this mouthwash, stop immediately

Published Dec 30th, 2020 12:37PM EST
mouthwash recall
Image: Pavelis/Adobe

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  • A recall of mouthwash earlier this year has since been expanded to include even more of the potentially problematic product.
  • In a new bulletin by the FDA, Sunstar Americas Inc. announces that the recall of its popular Paroex mouth wash has been widened.
  • The recall is due to the potential presence of a bacteria called Burkholderia lata which can lead to an infection that has to be treated with antibacterial agents. 

If you keep up on your personal hygiene — and since that’s one of the few things we can actually control this year, you really should — you might incorporate mouthwash into your daily routine. If that’s the case, you’re going to want to make sure that you don’t have any of this recalled Paroex mouthwash in your bathroom cabinet.

Back in October, Sunstar Americas, Inc., announced the recall of a bunch of lots of its Paroex mouthwash due to potential contamination with harmful bacteria. The bacteria, Burkholderia lata, can lead to an infection that can result in life-threatening complications including pneumonia. This is an extremely serious situation, and over two dozen people have already reported falling ill with bacterial infections after using this product.

With many product recalls, the company realizes something is wrong and issues the recall before any complaints actually arise. In this case, 29 people have reported becoming infected after using the recalled mouthwash. The recall bulletin explains:

To date, 29 adverse events have been reported to SAI related to this recall. Affected patients tested positive for Burkholderia lata infections, typically found in sputum cultures while under treatment for other serious medical conditions. Use of the contaminated product on patients with pre-existing respiratory conditions, including those infected with Covid-19, is particularly unsafe.

So, the tainted mouthwash combined with the ongoing pandemic is particularly bad. All the more reason to ensure you’re not using any of this stuff. Here are the two products that are included in the recall:

  • 1789P GUM® Paroex® is distributed in cases each containing 6 amber bottles of 16 fluid ounce (473 ml) chlorhexidine rinse. The bottle has a childproof cap and a 15 ml metered dosage cup, is safety sealed, and is decorated with a multiple-panel wrap-around label.
  • 1788P GUM® Paroex® is distributed in cases each containing 24 amber bottles of 4 fluid ounce (118.25 ml) chlorhexidine rinse. The bottle has a childproof cap, is safety sealed, and is decorated with a multiple-panel wrap-around label.

If you have either of these kinds of mouth wash, and the expiration date falls from 12/31/2020 to 9/30-2022, you should discard it immediately. The company is reaching out to customers and distributors that it knows may have purchased the product, but that’s just half the battle. Customers that purchased the mouthwash may not know that it’s bad, and since some of it won’t expire until 2022, they may continue to use it and put themselves at risk of serious health consequences.

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