Fact Check

Have Tylenol, Motrin, and Benadryl Been Recalled?

Rumor: In 2015 the FDA issued a recall for children's Tylenol, Motrin, and Benadryl products.

Published Apr 22, 2015

Claim:   In 2015 the FDA issued a recall for children's Tylenol, Motrin, and Benadryl products.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, April 2015]

I have had at least 10 friends post this FDA link to a recall about Children's Motrin, Tylenol, Benadryl, etc. Everyone seems to be panicking about a notice that appears several years old to me.


Origins:   A warning about a supposedly current FDA recall involving the over-the-counter medications Motrin, Tylenol and Benadryl began circulating online in early 2015. Although many Facebook posts referencing the recall included a link to a genuine statement from the FDA about a voluntary recall of McNeil Consumer Healthcare infant and children’s liquid products (Tylenol®, Motrin®, Zyrtec®, and Benadryl®) "due to manufacturing deficiencies which may affect quality," that statement (and the recall to which it applied) occurred in 2010 and does not affect any products sold in 2015:

This outdated warning started recirculating online shortly after McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that manufactures Tylenol, entered into a plea agreement in federal court "to selling liquid medicine contaminated with metal" and agreed to a $25 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in March 2015. The confusion of a several-year-old recall notice with a current event largely stemmed from the fact that a statement about the 2010 recall posted on the FDA web site was undated and provided readers with no information about the timeframe to which it applied.

A spokesman for McNeil said that the plea agreement "closes a chapter" and that the company has "been implementing enhanced quality and oversight standards across its entire business."

Last updated:   22 April 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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