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Recall alert: Pfizer recalls Effexor because some bottles contain Tikosyn, too

Some bottles of antidepressant Effexor may contain one or more tablets of afib drug Tikosyn
Some bottles of antidepressant Effexor may contain one or more tablets of afib drug Tikosyn
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Pfizer has initiated a voluntary recall of its 150-mg extended release Effexor capsules (lot numbers V130142 and V130140), as well as Greenstone-branded 150-mg extended release venlafaxine HCl (lot number V130014). The company is recalling these lots because a pharmacist notified Pfizer that a bottle of Effexor XR contained at least one tablet of Tikosyn (dofetilide), which is a drug marketed by Pfizer for the treatment of atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. The FDA warns that "The use of Tikosyn by an Effexor XR/Venlafaxine HCl patient, where the contraindications and drug-drug interactions with Tikosyn have not been considered by the prescribing physician, could cause serious adverse health consequences that could be fatal."

According to the FDA, "Pharmacists should immediately quarantine, discontinue distribution of and return all recalled lots of these products, as well as notify any of their customers to whom they distributed the products. Patients with affected product should notify their physicians and/or return product to their pharmacies." Patients are directed to contact the drug collection company Stericycle to facilitate the return of any recalled Effexor of venlafaxine in their possession. Stericycle can be reached at 1-888-345-0481. Patients can also call Pfizer with questions about their drugs at 1-800-438-1985.

Patients suffering any adverse events should seek treatment from a physician. Physicians can report adverse events via MedWatch online or by mailing or faxing (to 1-800-FDA-0178) a printed form. Further information from Pfizer is available online at the FDA website.