Tylenol Recall: Make Sure You Get Your Refund

Last Updated May 4, 2010 1:56 PM EDT

When it comes to product recalls, I usually take them in stride. But there's something about the Children's Tylenol announcement that makes me really angry and that will force me to change my shopping habits. I'm also trying to get my refund and hope that you will too.

Just in case you missed the news, Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit recalled over 40 children's medicines last Friday. The list includes popular medications including Infant Tylenol, Children's Motrin and Children's Benadryl. The reason? The company warned these meds may include tiny metallic particles or have higher concentrations of active ingredients than specified.

When I first heard about the recall I grew concerned since my seven-month-old is teething and it was too late to run out and buy more pain medication. By Saturday I was just plain angry. I have six bottles of recalled J&J products in my medicine cabinet and I have been actively dosing out these medicines to my kids over the past few months. Most concerning is that I started giving my newborn Tylenol right after she received her first vaccines. She was just six pounds.

Thankfully both of my girls seem fine. But now I'm questioning why I ever paid top dollar for these products in the first place when I could have saved up to 40% buying the generic equivalents. Although I know better, I guess I subconsciously figured that if the branded Tylenol cost more than the company that makes it would take extra care during the manufacturing process.

Making matters worse, I don't even feel that McNeil is doing anything special to apologize to families or win our trust back. Sure, no one was hurt. But according to The Wall Street Journal, the recall was spurred by consumer complaints and the company won't divulge any further details. So if you were the paranoid type -- as many new parents are -- you might imagine the situation is more harmful than J&J is letting on.

As for the refund, the company is offering consumers money or a "high value coupon". (You can click here to sign up for yours.) I'm taking the cash (and I think you should too) even though I know I won't be made whole. McNeil is giving parents a rebate worth the average national price for its various products. I, however, bought my medicine in New York City where everything costs more.

Fortunately, my daughter's teething seems to have subsided for the moment. Still, I went out yesterday and restocked the medicine cabinet with some generic ibuprofen. Turns out I should have been buying this all along since the medication lasts longer and will provide my little one with more comfort.

Is anyone else angry about the recall? Please share your thoughts.

Ah image by Roy Lister, courtesy of CC 2.0.