Three lots of Pfizer’s antidepressant Effexor XR have been voluntarily recalled due to the discovery of a Tikosyn capsule in a patient’s bottle of the popular antidepressant. Tikosyn is also from the Pfizer line but regulates symptomatic atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter, and may also help regulate irregular heartbeats.
Pfizer has recalled the three lots – V130142, V130140 and V130014 – voluntarily and as a precaution as a result of the discovery of the cardiac medication. Effexor XR is a popular antidepressant used by those who experience depression or other mental and mood disorders. It can also be used to treat panic disorders, social anxiety disorder and major depressive disorders. The generic version of the drug, venlaxafine, is not affected by the recall, and the recall will affect only those lots manufactured in the US.
Pfizer has already arranged for the return of these medications via UPS and patients are encouraged to contact their doctors immediately or their pharmacists to confirm whether or not their medication could be affected by this recall. If they have the affected medication, they are to return it to their doctors or their pharmacist immediately.
Venlaxafine is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) that regulates the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in a person’s system. The lots being recalled only involve the lower doses of Effexor XR, at 150 mg. Some side effects of missing a dose of the medication include blurred vision, headache, tremor, nausea and in some cases, lockjaw and mania.
The lots of Effexor XR are recalled due to this discovered Tikosyn capsule because the interaction of Tikosyn and Effexor XR could prove fatal. Patients who have experienced what they feel is an abnormal heartbeat, in addition to feeling faint, becoming dizzy or having an increased heart rate, should report these symptoms to their doctor.
The discovered Tikosyn capsule appears to only be a one-off, where it was simply a rare instance of the pill occurring in the Effexor XR lot. However, Pfizer does not want to take any chances, due to the potential fatal interactions that can occur between Tikosyn and Effexor XR.
The last time Pfizer had to issue a mass recall of drugs was just over two years ago when 14 lots of the birth control pill Lo/Ovral due to concerns about the dosing and potentially exposing women to unintended pregnancies. The last recall on record was by Baxter International, Inc. for a peritoneal dialysis solution; that recall was March 5, 2014.
While there are three lots of Effexor XR recalled due to the presence of a Tikosyn capsule, Pfizer again notes that the recall that they are issuing is a voluntary one and is done as a precautionary measure. The affected lots include lot numbers V130142, V130140 and V130014. The generic version of the drug is not affected by the recall, and it is recommended that concerned patients contact their physician or their pharmacist if they have any concerns with regard to the particular container of medication they have been issued by their medical professional.
By Christina St-Jean