2 thyroid medications recalled over contamination concerns

Jacksonville doctor offers advice for those taking recalled pills

A manufacturer has voluntarily recalled two thyroid medications due to a potential problem with the drugs' ingredients.

The medications are levothyroxine and liothyronine tablets that were manufactured by Westminster Pharmaceuticals. Doses range from 15 milligrams to 120 milligrams.

In a voicemail message for patients, the company said Synthroid and generic Synthroid medications are not included in the recall, and neither are medications dosed in micrograms (mcg) rather than milligrams (mg).

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the maker of one of the ingredients in the medications was found to have deficient manufacturing practices in 2017.

Dr. Scot Ackerman with Ackerman Cancer Center said the issue is with the Chinese manufacturer.

“They think that at this manufacturer in China that some impurities can go into the drug,” Ackerman said. “There have been no reports of any adverse events because of this, but this manufacturer has been known to have some impurities in their drugs, so the FDA has looked at that and said, 'For now, to be safe, don't use these.'”

The lot numbers for the recalled drugs are available on the FDA website. Ackerman said patients can check for the Westminster Pharmaceuticals name on their medications and if they see it can ask a pharmacist to exchange their generic pills for a brand name medication, although it might cost more if it's not covered by insurance. He said it's a fairly inexpensive medication, though.

Patients are urged to continue taking the medicine until they have a replacement.

“You do want to take the thyroid medication daily. You don't want to have any kind of gap,” Ackerman said.

According to the FDA, customers and patients with medical-related questions, information about an adverse event or other questions about the Westminster’s product’s being recalled should contact Westminster’s Regulatory Affairs department by phone at: 888-354-9939

Live calls are received 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday with voicemail available 24/7 or email recalls@wprx.com.

Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm.
Regular Mail or Fax: Download form www.fda.gov/MedWatch/getforms.htm or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA- 0178.