The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is urging the public to report problems with foods, drugs and other health products to its MedWatch program.
The FDA's MedWatch program processes information about adverse reactions and safety problems with FDA-regulated products. Because medical product studies only involve a relatively small number of patients, a product may be on the market for some time before problems begin to arise.
Voluntary consumer complaints often provide the first clue that a particular product needs to be investigated.
Consumers can report any product that is regulated by the FDA, including:
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Nutrition products, including infant formulas, dietary supplements, and herbal remedies
- Cosmetics or makeup products
- Medical devices, like contact lenses, blood glucose meters and pacemakers
- Biologics, such as human cells and tissues for transplantation
- Food, beverages and ingredients added to foods
When reporting a possible problem to MedWatch, it isn't necessary to provide proof that a particular product caused the problem. This misconception could lead people to avoid making a complaint because they don't believe the product was the cause of the issue. Any and all information that one can provide is worthwhile!
Consumers should report:
- Unexpected side effects from commonly-used products like Tylenol
- Medication errors
- Therapeutic failures when a product doesn't seem to work as well when you switch from a brand to a generic
- Product quality problems