Monday, August 19, 2013

The 'Disappearance' of Popular OTC Drugs…

I thought that I watched the news a lot… Aren’t the news shows, talking heads and the weather the primary programs that retired people watch on television?  Still, despite my heavy daily dose of the news, I somehow missed the stories around some very popular ‘missing’ over-the-counter drugs. 

So…you might ask yourself, what drugs or OTC remedies have disappeared from the shelves of your local drug store or mass merchant…and why?  More important to me is just where was I when this happened…?  Perhaps retirement has made me complacent…

When is the last time that you saw a bottle of Rolaids?  I much prefer them to Tums but this bottle may be one of the last of its kind in the USA.  There are just a few Rolaids left in this container, (expiration 5/2005), so I guess I’ll have to resort to Tums in the near future.  Laurie has already made the switch.  So what happened to Rolaids?
As a result of multiple recalls, production was suspended by McNeil – PPC Inc., the manufacturer of Rolaids in 2010. The brand is now owned by a French company, Sanofi.  I had asked our pharmacist what had happened to Rolaids and he told me that quality control problems and filthy manufacturing conditions had led to a shutdown of production.  Indeed, there were multiple recalls of Rolaids in 2010.  If you check on the Internet, you will find a website that is specifically designed for American customers…but you still can’t buy any Rolaids.  Check it out at
Our pharmacist also mentioned a couple other widely known OTC brands that have been taken off the market… How about Liquid Mylanta for heartburn relief?  This product is also a McNeil staple, but it too has been withdrawn from the marketplace. (Tablets are still available) Again the issue was quality control in the manufacturing process.  For more information regarding this product go to and
The biggest stunner to me was Tylenol!  The same recall that impacted Rolaids and Liquid Mylanta in 2010, also affected Tylenol.  Some types of Tylenol still aren’t available to the consumer.  In that recall, 53,000,000 bottles of McNeil – PPC Inc. products were involved!   Tylenol, Motrin, Rolaids, Benadryl, St. Joseph's Aspirin and later Zyrtec were all involved in these recalls.  For further information, just go to and/or
Wow!  I guess I’d better spend more time watching the news on TV or via the Internet!  How’d we miss this story?
Thanks for stopping by and checking out my failure to ensure that I'm fully informed at all times…
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Sounds like the Mfg needs to be out of business.

  2. Never used those I guess I did not miss them. When I get an unsettled stomach.....Gavaston is my go to OTC "fire putter outer". Hummmmm....maybe I better stock up on Gavaston "cherry flavor" just in case.

  3. Yes, I discovered this when Tylenol wasn't in any of the drug stores. Crazy!

  4. I missed this as well, Dave. Here in Oregon certain types of what use to be, over the counter allergy and cold medicines now require a prescription because they were being used in meth labs. Go figure! I must admit I can't understand how a drug company with quality control issues is allowed to do business. Let's throw the rascals out. I hope your week is off to a great start.Blessings...Mary

  5. I did not know about these drugs not being available anymore, but I don’t use them either. My husband is the one watching the news and the weather on TV – I go on the computer and read about the news faster, plus I like to read the French, Belgian, Canadian, British and Australian news, as I can get a different twist on things (often they mention events that are not in the news here, or are told differently for the American public.) I do like to watch some shows on TV, well the Tour de France in summer, and then I also like Anthony Bourdain. I looked at your past shows and sent an email to my daughter in Nashville telling her I’d like to go both to the car museum and the antique store in the old manufacturing car plant – they look quite interesting.