Novartis AG recalls 4 over-the-counter drugs

Novartis AG said Sunday it is voluntarily recalling some over-the-counter products in the U.S., including its Excedrin headache pills and NoDoz medication, because they may contain broken or stray tablets from other products.

The recall also affects its Bufferin and Gas-X Prevention brands.Novartis has temporarily suspended operations at the Lincoln, Neb., plant where the products were made, the company said in a statement.The move comes after consumer complaints “of chipped and broken pills and inconsistent bottle packaging line clearance practices possibly resulting in mixed tablets,” the company said. The over-the-counter medications were distributed throughout the U.S.

Julie Masow, a spokeswoman for the Basel, Switzerland-based company, said she didn’t immediately have a number for the amount of tablets and gel caps involved in the recall. She said there hadn’t been any reports of overdoses or allergic reactions from the stray material or broken and chipped medication. The Lincoln facility’s products account for less than 2 percent of Novartis Group sales, Novartis said. The drugmaker had sales of $50.6 billion in 2010.

The company said it was recalling all lots of bottles containing Excedrin and NoDoz with expiration dates of Dec. 20, 2014, or earlier, as well as Bufferin and Gas-X Prevention with throw-out dates of Dec. 20, 2013, or earlier.