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Tue 19 Jan 2010 01:55 PM

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UAE, Kuwait confirm J&J drug removal

UPDATE 1: Health ministries send circular to pharmacies about concerns over Tylenol.

Two versions of the popular over-the-counter drug Tylenol have been pulled from shop shelves in the UAE and Kuwait, health chiefs confirmed on Tuesday in a circular to pharmacies.

Tylenol ES (Extra Strength) caplets of 500mg and Tylenol Arthritis Pain caplets are being removed from sale, after manufacturer Johnson & Johnson revealed the drugs had been linked to gastrointestinal problems, including nausea and stomach pain.

As reported by Arabian Business, some 500 batches of the products were recalled from the UAE, the Americas and Fiji following customer complaints of an “unusual, mouldy” odour.

Later on Tuesday, KUNA News Agency reported that Kuwait's Ministry of Health had also ordered pharmacies to remove the drugs from their shelves.

McNeil Healthcare, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, said it believed the smell was related to a chemical used on wood pallets used to transport and store product packaging material.

“The health effects of this chemical have not been well-studied, but no serious events have been documented in the medical literature," the company said.

It will stop using the pallets to ship products with the same chemicals, it added.

Consumers who have an item on the recall list – which can be found here – have been urged to stop using the product, and to contact the company for a refund.

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