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Generic brand powdered cold and flu medication recalled in Canada

VANCOUVER — Health Canada is recalling several generic brand powdered cold and flu medications over potential health risks.

The affected products are produced by CellChem Pharmaceuticals Inc. and have the following names:

  • Extra Strength Total Symptom Relief Sugar-Free
  • Hot Lemon Relief for Symptoms of Cold and Flu (Extra strength)
  • Hot Lemon Relief for Symptoms of Cold and Flu (Regular strength)
  • Night Time Total Extra Strength
  • Total Flu

The products come in pouches of dissolvable powder and have been available over the counter for adults and children 12 years of age or older. They’re sold under several pharmacy store brands, such as Biomedic, Pharmasave, Rexall, Teva, Life Brand and Western Family.

Health Canada says CellChem Pharmaceuticals Inc. “could not demonstrate that products remain safe and of good quality until the expiry date” after an inspection.

Some of the products had already been recalled by the company in September due to a lack of data on the products’ shelf life. The new recall expands the list of affected products.

Several lots of the recalled products also had active ingredients not listed on the product label, such as acetaminophen, Health Canada says. The agency warns that taking too much acetaminophen could result in nausea, vomiting, lethargy, sweating, loss of appetite or abdominal pain, and could increase the risk of liver damage.

Health Canada is urging anyone who has any of the affected products to consult municipal or regional guidelines on how to dispose of hazardous waste. If you or your child has already taken a recalled product, talk to your health-care provider.

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