Bye Bye RELPAX

I never bought lunch in grade school. I don’t know what I was more scared of at that age, ordering lunch from a stranger, or eating that infamous cafeteria food. The choices of a slice of pizza and a cup of milk just weren't enough for a growing boy like myself.

PB&J recall

I still love those sandwiches to this day. The salty crunchy peanut butter combining with sweet and tart grape jelly is a flavor profile that has always enamored me. This is why I would eat one every day for lunch. That is until February 2007. I remember hearing about a recall of Peter Pan Peanut Butter from shelves all across the country. My school district went ahead and took the initiative and made every kid who had brought lunches from school throw out their sandwiches for fear of the salmonella outbreak. I was devastated. How could my beloved peanut butter betray me like this?

Relpax recall: a similar feeling

August 16, 2019. I was reading comments on my most recent post, enjoying being able to engage people about our shared migraine experiences when I came upon a comment in the sidebar. I was taken aback by the news that RELPAX had been recalled yesterday. But why?! This isn’t just peanut butter we’re talking here. This is my medication. This is my escape from a migraine-induced brain crash. My parachute from a migraine free-fall. More importantly, how come I hadn’t known about this sooner?

The United States Food and Drug Administration had released an announcement regarding RELPAX:

“Pfizer Inc. is voluntarily recalling RELPAX® (eletriptan hydrobromide) 40 mg tablets, lots AR5407, and CD4565, to the Patient level. Pfizer Inc. initiated this recall because these product lots may not meet Pfizer’s in-house microbiological specification for the potential presence of Genus Pseudomonas and Burkholderia. Individuals who consume oral products contaminated with microorganisms are at risk of bacterial dissemination from the gut to the bloodstream potentially resulting in serious, life-threatening infections. In addition, there is a risk of temporary gastrointestinal distress without serious infection…”

The rest of the article can be found here: https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/pfizer-inc-issues-voluntary-nationwide-recall-2-lots-relpaxr-eletriptan-hydrobromide-40-mg-tablets

Scary but reassuring

If I had not known about this, I might have taken my dosage and been exposed to the contaminated packages. This is something that I take when I am at my most vulnerable; when my normal medicine has not taken the edge off. RELPAX is my rescue drug, but what if it could do more harm than help? I guess if anything it reminds me how important it is to be informed. Living with migraine is not easy and can, more often than not, be a nearly full-time job.

It’s not just about medicating anymore, but rather being vigilant and staying up-to-date with the world of migraine. Things are bigger than just me, and yes it’s scary, but it’s also a little bit reassuring. It goes to show that there are people out there who have my back, who actively spend their time making sure that I receive the best quality medicine out there.

I may have missed peanut butter when it was recalled all those years ago, but I’ll miss my package of RELPAX more.

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