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The CDC issued a warning on Thursday about a group of illnesses associated with products containing the drug tianeptine.
According to the CDC, there was a considerable increase in the number of tianeptine-related cases reported in New Jersey between June 2023 and November 2023. The agency identified a total of 20 cases involving 17 different patients during this period. This sudden surge in cases was described as an “uncharacteristic spike” compared to the poison center’s usual baseline of two or fewer exposure calls per year.
Around 14 out of the 17 patients stated that they consumed tianeptine from Neptune’s Fix, a recalled flavored elixir shot.
Robitussin cough syrups have been recalled by the manufacturer due to a “microbial contamination,” according to reports. The recall was issued as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety and well-being of consumers. The company is working closely with regulatory authorities to investigate the issue and resolve it as quickly as possible. Customers who have purchased the affected products are advised to stop using them and return them to the place of purchase for a refund. The company deeply regrets any inconvenience caused and remains committed to providing high-quality products to its customers.
Neptune Resources has taken the voluntary step of recalling its Fix Elixir, Fix Extra Strength Elixir, and Fix Tablets on Sunday. The reason behind this recall is the discovery that these products contain the antidepressant drug tianeptine.
According to the company’s statement, the reason for the recall of the products is that they contain tianeptine, an ingredient that does not have FDA approval for any medical use. The presence of tianeptine makes these products unapproved drugs, as their safety and effectiveness have not been established. Consequently, the products are subject to recall.
According to George Karavetsos, a former director of the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations and an attorney, tianeptine has earned the nickname “gas station heroin.”
Karavetsos warned about the potential risks associated with this drug, as certain companies are marketing tianeptine to American consumers by making false and unverified claims. These claims suggest that tianeptine can enhance brain function and alleviate various conditions such as anxiety, depression, pain, and opioid use disorder.
The FDA has discovered that the manufacturer responsible for the recalled applesauce did not conduct tests for heavy metals.
He acknowledged that there has been a rise in reports of tianeptine abuse and its use as a substitute for opioids. Furthermore, he pointed out that tianeptine has been directly associated with cases of overdose, coma, and even death.
The FDA recently published an online notice informing the public that they are still receiving reports of serious adverse events associated with the use of Neptune’s Fix products. These events include seizures, loss of consciousness, and even death.
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The FDA has issued a warning stating that these products have the potential to interact with other medications a consumer may be taking, which could be life-threatening. The agency is currently investigating adverse event reports along with local and state health departments.
The CDC states that elixir formulations of the drug can be easily obtained either online or at gas stations and convenience stores.
The FDA took action in early January by sending a letter to various organizations, including convenience stores and gas stations, urging them to halt the sale of Neptune’s Fix and other products that contain tianeptine. This decision was made in response to numerous reports of severe medical injuries associated with these products.
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