Johnson & Johnson Recalls Tylenol Citing Musty Odor for Third Time in Year

Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit said it is recalling one product lot of Tylenol 8-hour caplets containing 127,728 bottles, following complaints from consumers of a musty or moldy odor.

The recall is the third in the past year linked to odors affecting medications made by the New Brunswick, New Jersey- based company. The odor is thought to be tied to a chemical called 2,4,6-tribromoanisole, said Marc Boston, a spokesman for McNeil. The chemical is applied to wooden pallets used to store packing materials, J&J has said.

J&J received a warning letter in January from the Food and Drug Administration saying the company had waited more than a year to notify regulators after receiving complaints early in 2008 about odors in Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplets. The company recalled some lots of the medicine in December 2009 and, a month later, announced that a variety of over-the-counter products would be recalled because of similar odor complaints. Lawmakers and the FDA also are investigating J&J in connection with a separate April recall of more than 40 types of children’s medicines.

“We believe it’s from packing components and we’re continuing to investigate,” Boston said in a telephone interview about today’s Tylenol recall.

J&J gained 29 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $63.86 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The company’s shares increased 5.6 percent in the past 12 months.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Waters in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at

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