Topamax Recall Initiated by J&J Due to Odor

April 14, 2011 Updated: September 29, 2015

Around 57,000 bottles of Topamax, an epilepsy drug, was recalled by its maker Johnson & Johnson on Thursday due to reports of a foul odor, the company said in a news release.

The company’s neurological unit, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, suspects that small amounts of TBA (2,4,6 tribromoanisole), a chemical preservative byproduct that is used for wood pallets, got into the batch.

No serious health problems were reported due to the contamination of the two lots of the drug. Patients using the drug should contact their doctors..

There have been similar J&J recalls associated with the chemical in the past. Over the past two years, the company has recalled Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, and other products due to similar odor concerns.

“An internal investigation is underway with our suppliers to evaluate the potential source of this TBA issue,” the company said in a atatement. “In addition, we are working with peer companies to better understand how and where TBA is entering and impacting our supply chains and what we can do to further mitigate this exposure.”

The two lots, both of the 100mg variety, were shipped between Oct. 19, 2010 and Dec. 29, 2010. The company said that less than 6,000 bottles of the product are still being sold.

The company said that consumers who notice a strange odor should immediately stop taking the medication and can contact their doctor or a hotline at 1-866-536-4398, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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