McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson and Tylenol's manufacturer, said it detected bacteria in an inactive ingredient. In consultation with the U.S. FDA, McNeil decided to "recall all products that utilized any of the raw material manufactured at the same time as the raw material that tested positive for the bacteria".
According to McNeil's statement, scientific literature about the bacteria suggests that ingesting a contaminated pharmaceutical product orally doesn't trigger an infection, but use of products such as a nasal spray with the bacteria can lead to infections.
This latest product recall is another clear warning that over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can be just as dangerous to your health and the health of your family as drugs requiring a prescription.
As cold and flu season approaches, it’s a good time to plan your strategy to protect your health and the health of your family in the coming winter months.
Easy to Get Doesn’t Mean Safe to Take
Just because a medication is easy to obtain doesn’t mean it’s harmless – especially to young children. OTC remedies are still drugs, and many contain potentially dangerous ingredients. As with any manufactured drug or food product, OTC medications are also susceptible to contamination during processing, as was the case with the recalled Tylenol products.
Another hazard of OTC drugs is that while labels include some potentially harmful interactions, they don’t cover the full range of possibilities – and many people don’t read labels anyway.
Pharmacists are available to discuss potential reactions and harmful interactions of the prescription drugs they dispense, but OTC medications are often sold in outlets like supermarkets, discount chains and convenience stores, where no knowledgeable person is around to answer your questions.
Even the FDA Thinks Children’s Cold Medicines Should Be Banned
Two years ago, an FDA advisory panel voted to ban OTC cold products intended for children under the age of six. The reason for the recommended ban? There is no proof the products work. There is evidence, however, they can cause serious harm.
Studies conducted on the effectiveness of cough and cold medicines on adults, while inconclusive, raised an interesting question about whether or not it’s necessary to suppress or cure a cough.
There is a common perception that if you’re coughing, sneezing or have a low-grade fever, you must take a medication to get rid of it. In reality, coughing and sneezing are tools your body uses to get rid of viruses and irritants, and fever also helps to kill bacteria and viruses.
So if you take a drug to stop these natural protections, you are actually impairing your body’s ability to fight the infection which will result in it actually significantly delaying the healing process.
Be Careful Not to Mask or Suppress Your Child’s Symptoms
Over-the-counter medications, like all drugs, simply mask symptoms. They do not address the underlying cause of the problem.
Several of the Tylenol products listed in the article are used to treat a child’s fever. In fact, childhood fevers are one of the main causes of doctor and hospital visits.
What many parents don’t realize is that a fever is actually a good thing.
Childhood fevers are better than any vaccination at triggering an authentic, life-long immune response in your child’s body. When you suppress these fevers with Tylenol or other medications, you can cause far more harm than good. A tepid bath can be a soothing, effective alternative for symptom relief.
I advise avoiding all anti-fever medications unless your child is absolutely miserable or the fever is over 104o F. In fact, I strongly encourage you to do the research before giving your child any medication, and only do so if there is truly no other option (you may need to seek out the opinion of a doctor who is knowledgeable about natural medicine).
How to Prevent Coughs and Colds This Winter
A cold virus isn’t what makes you or your child sick -- it’s an immune system too weak to fight off the virus that allows the infection to take hold.
The most prevalent causes of a weakened immune system are poor diet, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, and stress.
The following all-natural strategies will strengthen the immune systems of everyone in your family and insure good health no matter the time of year:
- Optimize your vitamin D levels
- Eat according to your nutritional type and reduce or eliminate grains and sugar from your diet
- Optimize your intake of omega-3 fats
- Get sufficient good quality sleep
- Exercise regularly
- Learn how to handle stress and manifest positive emotions
If you do wind up with a cold or the flu in the coming months, try putting a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ears. If you do this at the first sign you’re coming down with a bug, it seems to be especially effective. I haven't the slightest idea how it works, but I can tell you many readers of my newsletter have provided anecdotal evidence that it does. I can guarantee you two things -- it won't hurt you and it only costs a few cents, so there is nothing to lose.