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Pfizer Recalling Its Antidepressant Effexor Due To Serious Mistake

Update Date: Mar 08, 2014 05:29 PM EST

Pfizer Inc announced Thursday it was recalling its antidepressant Effexor XR along with another lot of a generic version of the drug. The announcement follows a discovery by a pharmacist who found a different drug in the bottle of Effexor. 

"Although Pfizer has not received any other such reports, these three lots are being voluntarily recalled as a precaution because they were packaged on the same line," Pfizer said in an announcement.

In the bottle of Effexor, a drug called Tikosyn was found which is used for a common and potentially dangerous irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation. 

"The use of Tikosyn by an Effexor XR patient, where the contraindications and drug-drug interactions with Tikosyn have not been considered by the prescribing physician, could cause serious adverse health consequences that could be fatal," Pfizer said.

Experts said side effects of Tikosyn were serious and often leads to a type of abnormal hearbeat called Torsade de Pointes, which can sometimes lead to death. 

Pfizer added that among three lots, there were about 104,450 bottles of medicines and of those bottles, nearly 65,800 had reached pharmacies in the country. The recall included one lot of 30-count bottles of Effexor XR, one lot of 90-count bottles of the branded drug and one lot of venlafaxine 150 mg extended release capsules sold by Greenstone LLC, a generic drugmaker owned by Pfizer, reported Tech Times. 

The recall will not affect the generic versions of the drugs made by other manufacturers. 

In a statement issued, FDA has asked pharmacists to quarantine and return all recalled lots immediately. 

"Pfizer has responded rapidly to this situation to ensure the safety of patients who take our medicines," Pfizer said. "This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."

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