Special Report

18 of the Worst Drug Recalls in History

Steven Peters

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16. Meridia

The FDA recommended against prescribing Meridia, an appetite suppressant, in 2010 due to a 16% increased risk of developing heart problems, including irregular heartbeat, non-fatal stroke, and cardiac arrest. The obesity drug produced by Abbott Laboratories was on the market for 13 years and was prescribed to people with a body mass index of 30 or higher.

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17. Omniflox

The antibiotic, also known under its chemical name temafloxacin, sold by Abbott Laboratories, was recalled by the FDA after at least 50 reports of severe reactions to the medication, including low blood sugar, as well as kidney dysfunction and anemia, and three deaths. Omniflox was on the market for about a year until 1992.

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18. Palladone

Palladone, a potent narcotic painkiller, was recalled in 2005 after only a year on the market. The drug’s manufacturer, Purdue Pharma, withdrew it due to possible serious side effects if the medication was taken with alcohol. This combination could lead to an instant release of hydromorphone, causing a high drug level in the body, which could depress or stop breathing, leading to coma and even death.