Canadian Manufacturing

CellChem Pharmaceuticals Inc. recalls cold and flu medications

by CM Staff   

Manufacturing Regulation Food & Beverage Public Sector pharmaceutical industry pharmaceutical recall

At Health Canada's direction, CellChem Pharmaceuticals Inc. has stopped selling and is recalling affected products.

Option+ Total Flu (CNW Group/Health Canada)

OTTAWA — CellChem Pharmaceuticals Inc. has stated that they are recalling lots of cold and flu medications, sold in pouches of dissolvable powder, due to potential health risks. The products are authorized for use in adults and children 12 years of age and older. They are available over-the-counter and sold under various generic store-brand labels at many retailers across Canada.

According to a statement from CellChem Pharmaceuticals, the company is removing these products from store shelves because they could not demonstrate that products remain safe and of good quality until the expiry date. Additionally, multiple lots had active ingredients, such as acetaminophen, that were not in the amounts listed on the product label.

Health Canada identified these issues during an inspection. As a result, the company initiated a recall in September 2021 of certain powdered cold and flu medications. The company explained in a statement that they have now expanded the recall after further investigation identified additional defective products.

The company explained in a statement that products containing less than the labelled quantity of active ingredients may be less effective. Taking products that contain more than the labelled quantity of active ingredients can lead to inadvertently exceeding the maximum daily doses. For example, products that contain too much acetaminophen could pose serious health risks, such as liver damage.


In its public statement, CellChem addressed that signs of taking too much acetaminophen include nausea, vomiting, lethargy, sweating, loss of appetite and pain in the upper part of the abdomen or stomach. Abdominal pain may be the first sign of liver damage and may not be apparent for 24 to 48 hours. Risks of taking too much of an active ingredient may be higher for children and adolescents.

At Health Canada’s direction, CellChem Pharmaceuticals Inc. has stopped selling and is recalling defective products. Health Canada is monitoring the company’s recall and the implementation of any corrective and preventative actions. If additional safety concerns are identified, Health Canada will take appropriate action and inform Canadians as needed.


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