The drug was reportedly contaminated with a "foreign substance."

By Korin Miller
October 29, 2019

The makers of a generic form of Xanax called alprazolam are recalling the drug over concerns that it was contaminated with a foreign substance.

Mylan Pharmaceuticals has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of one lot of its 0.5 milligram alprazolam tablets, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The recall doesn’t name the foreign material, but the FDA says that there is a “remote risk of infection” if you happen to ingest it. However, the FDA notes, Mylan hasn’t received any reports of adverse reactions to the batch.

Alprazolam is used to treat anxiety disorder, specifically to help provide short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety and to treat panic disorder. Alprazolam tablets are packaged in bottles of 500, and the recalled batch was distributed in the U.S. between July 2019 and August 2019, the FDA says. The recalled lot has a national drug code (NDC) of 0378-4003-05, a lot number of 8082708, and an expiration date of September 2020.

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So, what do you do if you have the recalled medication?

If you have take the medication—and, specifically, the lot that has been recalled—it’s a good idea to call your doctor right away. “Often times there are easy substitutions that can be made,” says Jamie Alan, PhD, an assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University.

Given that the 0.5 milligram tablets were impacted, Alan says your doctor can easily prescribe a different dosage. “Alprazolam can be halved, so one could take 1/2 tablet of a one milligram tablet or two 0.25 milligram tablets,” she says. You could also take the non-generic form of alprazolam, aka Xanax, but that may cost you a little more.

If that doesn’t appeal to you, Alan points out that there are similar benzodiazepines available, like Ativan and Valium, that your doctor might recommend substituting. But ultimately, it’s really best to talk to your doctor and take it from there.

If you happen to have these tablets, the FDA recommends contacting medical waste company Stericycle at 1-888-843-0255 to receive a documentation packet to return the medication to Stericycle. And, if you’ve had any issues after taking the medication, call your doctor immediately.

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