Pfizer, the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company, is expanding a recall on Lipitor because of an unusual musty odor the drug releases.
Pfizer said it's recalling an additional 19,000 bottles of atorvastatin (Lipitor) 40 mg., which is used to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, bringing the total number of recalled bottles to 360,000.
The Food and Drug Administration said the health effects of the recalled medicine are minimal, but some consumers have experienced gastrointestinal distress from the odorous compound.
Pfizer attributed the musty odor to a compound called 2,4,6-tribromoanisole. "TBA may actually originate with another chemical known as TBP, used as a wood preservative in shipping pallets and other products, according to Pfizer. However, the company said it prohibits the use of TBP-treated pallets by its shippers, and U.S. pallet manufacturers are also forbidden to use TBP. However, the FDA said TBP may be present in wood products supplied to the U.S. from other countries," according to news reports .
As a North Charleston personal injury lawyer , I urge consumers who are on Lipitor to pay attention to this recall and talk to their doctors about exchanging the drugs if they notice an odd odor. Although the company said the drug isn't harmful, it could cause unintended side effects.