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What's in a name? Apparently a lot, when you are talking about medications. The FDA put out a safety alert on February, 17, 2010 regarding the product Maalox Total Relief. Maalox Total Relief is a medication designed to treat diarrhea and upset stomach. The main active ingredient is bismuth subsalicylate, also found in products such as Alka-Seltzer and Pepto-Bismol. The problem was that consumers were taking this product thinking it was regular Maalox, an antacid. Yikes! These are two very different medications -- what was the manufacturer thinking to give them the same name? Trying to sell products, that's what.

The danger to consumers is that bismuth subsalicylate carries risks not generally associated with antacids. In its safety alert, the FDA provides an outline of individuals who should not take Maalox Total Relief (e.g. individuals who suffer from ulcers or bleeding disorders).

The FDA has also put out a press release in which it states that the manufacturer of Maalox Total Relief, Novartis, will change the name of the medication so as to avoid future confusion. If you have experienced any negative side effects from Maalox or Maalox Total Relief, the FDA wants to hear from you. You are encouraged to contact the FDA through the MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program web site or by calling 1-800-332-1088.


Maalox Labeling Confusion originally appeared on About.com Irritable Bowel Syndrome on Friday, February 26th, 2010 at 04:01:39.

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