Pfizer issues nationwide recall of 3 lots of Venlafaxine (Effexor) due to possible contamination

Pfizer has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of 3 different lots of the antidepressant Venlafaxine (Effexor, Pfizer Inc) due to the finding of one capsule of heart drug in a bottle of Effexor. Interaction between the two could be fatal.

Although Pfizer has not received any other such reports, these three lots were being voluntarily recalled as a precaution because they were packaged on the same line. The recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

As a precaution, the company is recalling one lot of 30-count Effexor XR (venlafaxine HCl) 150 mg extended-release capsules, one lot of 90-count Effexor XR (venlafaxine HCl) 150 mg extended-release capsules and one lot of 90-count Greenstone LLC-branded Venlafaxine HC1 150 mg extended-release capsules. The recall involves Pfizer lot numbers V130142 and V130140, both of which expires in October 2015, and Greenstone lot number V130014, which expires in August 2015.

According to Pfizer, the action is being taken because 1 bottle of Effexor XR contained a single capsule of dofetilide (Tikosyn, Pfizer Inc) 0.25 mg, an antiarrhythimic medication used to treat atrial fibrillation/atrial flutter and maintain normal sinus rhythm. The side effects of Tikosyn include torsade de pointes, which can lead to death.