55,000 Vials of Remdesivir Recalled Due to Glass Particulates That ‘Can Cause Stroke and Even Lead to Death’

55,000 Vials of Remdesivir Recalled Due to Glass Particulates That ‘Can Cause Stroke and Even Lead to Death’
  • Certain vials of remdesivir, an antiviral COVID-19 drug, are being recalled over glass shards, according to a recent recall notice.

  • Biopharmaceutical company Gilead announced the recall of 55,000 vials after a consumer found “glass particulates” in one batch.

  • Hospitals have been warned to stop using vials pertaining to the affected lots and return the affected vials, which are marketed under the name Veklury; no injuries have been reported so far.

Biopharmaceutical company Gilead is voluntarily recalling two lots, around 55,000 vials, of its COVID-19 antiviral drug remdesivir after a consumer found glass shards in one vial.

In a December 3 recall notice, Gilead warned healthcare providers and consumers that two batches of remdesivir, which it markets under the name Veklury, could contain “glass particulates.” Both lots (2141001-1A and 2141002-1A) were distributed nationwide beginning in October and expire in January 2024. As of now, no injuries or deaths related to the recall have been reported.

“The administration of an injectable product that contains glass particulates may result in local irritation or swelling in response to the foreign material,” Gilead’s recall announcement says. “If the glass particulate reaches the blood vessels, it can travel to various organs and block blood vessels in the heart, lungs or brain, which can cause stroke and even lead to death.”

Remdesivir is an antiviral used to fight COVID-19 in hospitalized adult and pediatric patients at least 12 years old; it was the first drug approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat COVID-19. It works by stopping the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the body, per the FDA.

This recall encompasses 55,000 vials of the drug, enough to treat 11,000 patients, a Gilead spokesperson told Bloomberg. While the voluntary recall comes on the heels of the newly discovered Omicron variant, Gilead says this recall is not large enough to impact remdesivir supply in the United States or the rest of the world.

Gilead says the public should not worry as it has warned distributors and hospital pharmacies of the issue, and that the company is accepting returns of any remaining vials of the affected lots. If you have taken remdesivir and experienced any adverse effects that could be related to this recall, Gilead recommends contacting your doctor and reporting them through the FDA.

If you have any questions about the recall, you can contact Gilead at 1-866-633-4474.

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