US Recalled Medications

Goals

To provide a list of all medications that have been recalled and why, and a list of medical advice that has changed over time.

Early Findings

Below, we have provided a list of medications that were recalled in the US between 2000 and 2020 and the reasons for their recall.
  • Valdecoxib (Bextra), an NSAID pain medication was recalled in 2005 for increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, "serious skin reactions, such as epidermal necrolysis, erythema multiforme, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and potential to cause gastrointestinal bleeding."
  • Lorcaserin (Belviq), a weight-loss drug was recalled in 2020 due to its increased risk of cancer.
  • Troglitazone (Rezulin), an antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory drug was recalled in 2000 after it resulted in "90 cases of liver failure and at least 63 deaths."
  • Sibutramine (Reductil/Meridia), an appetite suppressant was recalled in 2010 as it caused an increased risk of heart diseases and stroke.
  • Pemoline (Cylert), a drug used in the treatment of ADD and ADHD was recalled in 2010 because of its "potential to cause liver damage."
  • Drotrecogin alfa (Xigris) was voluntarily withdrawn from the market in 2011 for its lack of efficacy.
  • Levamisole (Ergamisol) used in the treatment of "worm infestation, rheumatoid arthritis, colon cancer, or breast cancers" was recalled in 2000 because "it caused neutropenia, agranulocytosis, and thrombotic vasculopathy, leading to retiform purpura—a purple discoloration of the eye that requires surgery."
  • Rofecoxib (Vioxx) used in the treatment of arthritis was recalled in 2004 after it was discovered to "heighten the risks for heart attack and stroke, and was tied to nearly 28,000 heart attacks in the US population between 1999 and 2003."
  • Isotretinoin (Accutane), an acne medication was recalled in 2009 due to its "increased risk of birth defects, miscarriage, and premature deaths among pregnant women who used it, as well as suicidal ideation and inflammatory bowel disease."
  • Efalizumab (Raptiva) used in the treatment of psoriasis was recalled in 2009 as it was found to "cause progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy."

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