Painful Pain ‘Relief’: Metal Shavings Found in Ibuprofen

I guess it goes without saying that one takes medicine to, you know, feel better and all the more if you’re taking something like ibuprofen for relief from pain.

So what would you say if your pain relief meds contained something extra? And what if that something extra was — metal shavings? 

The May 27th New York Times reports that Michigan-based Perrigo has been issued a warning letter from the F.D.A. about ‘significant manufacturing violations,’ namely, the aforementioned ibuprofen tablets contaminated with metal shavings.

Perrigo also supplies drugstore equivalents of children’s medicines, such as liquid Tylenol, to pharmacy chains like CVS and Walgreens. It was just last month that more than 40 varieties of liquid pediatric Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl and Zyrtec made by McNeil Consumer Healthcare — a unit of Johnson & Johnson — were recalled, as the medicine may have “contained metal particles, too much of the active drug ingredient or inactive ingredients that did not meet testing requirements.” 

You can find information about the recalled products at the website created by the company. 

Consumers were advised to seek out generic equivalents to such brand name over-the-counter drugs — in other words, they were told to seek out drugs made by the likes of Perrigo.

In the FDA letter, Perrigo was cited for shipping defective drug products. Even though its Allergan, Michigan, plant had identified “certain ibuprofen tablets as being contaminated with metal shavings,” a portion of the pills were still shipped before the entire lot was recalled — not exactly the sort of “quality control” one would like to hear about. 

Also worth noting, back in 2006, Perrigo recalled some 11 million bottles of acetaminophen because of what was found in some caplets: metal particles “ranging from a speck to 8-millimeter pieces of wire.”

And just the day before, the New York Times reported on a Congressional investigation that found that some 40 herbal dietary supplements (including, for instance, a product containing ginkgo biloba) contained “trace amounts of lead and other contaminants.”

Not sure what to say when the products we take to make ourselves — and our children — “feel better”, contain the last sort of things we’d want in our — and their — bodies.


Photo by allygirl520.


Victoria L.
Victoria L.4 years ago

It's best to seek natural alternatives for pain relief. No pain is worth ingesting that.

Gwendolyn Krupa
Gwendolyn Krupa6 years ago

Well, that only leaves Homeopathy or you might say Homeopathic. They are always the safest anyway. I wish they named the manufacturer's name on the herbs. It scares me that our children and grandchildren are being poisoned by Perrigo! It also makes me angry!!! What can we do to help right this wrong?

Gabriel T.
Past Member 6 years ago

It is our responsibility to remain healthy, so we don't fall into the illness business that medicine and pharmacy is. They earn money only if you are ill, and if you are not, maybe you are told you are to be one more customer. Very dangerous.

Kay L.
KayL NOFORWARDS6 years ago

Whatever are they doing in the manufacturing process to get metal shavings in the product? Where are their Quality Control people? Where are the inspectors?

Elaine Dixon
Elaine Dixon6 years ago

thanks for the info

Carole P.
Carole P.6 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Brenda Rogers
Brenda Rogers6 years ago

I buy my ibuprophin at Family Dollar.It says it is distributed by Family Dollar. I have found that I do not trust many of Walmart's products. My dog was getting very sick. Looked up possible causes on line. I came across information about high lead in squeak toys. I had just bought him one the week before. Took the toy from him, he began to slowly become better. This scared me bad. He is like my child. I have grandchildren I buy for. I no longer buy from Walmart. I feel they do not care about the quality of the products they sale. As I see it most come from China. I have bought their ibuprophin, before. Definitely will not now. Thanks

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.6 years ago

Oh, dear... I read a lot, but practically everything I read is in linguistics. Of course, it's fascinating (else I wouldn't have chosen to be a linguist), but I sometimes miss good literature and I have no time for it.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.6 years ago

By the way, have you ever read 'Slaughterhouse Five' by Kurt Vonnegut? One of the characters killed a dog that way, by putting metal filings in a piece of meat.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.6 years ago

This reminds me of a joke about a guy who wanted to murder his mother-in-law.