Chicago drugmaker recalls neuromuscular drug due to labeling error

Meitheal Pharmaceuticals, a Chicago-based drugmaker, is recalling one lot of cisatracurium, a muscle-relaxing drug used during surgery, after finding that some of the vials in the lot are incorrectly labeled as phenylephrine, a drug used to treat low blood pressure during surgery. 

The FDA said that there's a reasonable chance that if a patient who needs phenylephrine is given cisatracurium, it could cause fast onset of muscle paralysis and decrease in oxygen that could be fatal within minutes if not quickly diagnosed and treated. 

Additionally, if a patient is given phenylephrine instead of cisatracurium, the FDA said that could cause severe adverse reactions, including arrhythmia and cardiac or brain ischemia, which could cause severe illness or death. 

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices sent a warning to healthcare providers about the recall, saying it is an "extremely hazardous packaging error." 

The institute urged facilities to examine any cartons of cisatracurium they ordered from Meitheal Pharmaceuticals. 

Meitheal Pharmaceuticals said no adverse events related to the recall had been reported. 

Read the FDA's full news release here.

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