Many Washington area retailers said yesterday that they had removed Extra-Strength Excedrin capsules from store shelves as part of a nationwide recall prompted by the June 11 death of an Auburn, Wash., woman who swallowed cyanide-laced capsules.
A second cyanide death in Auburn, on June 5, was reported yesterday, and 25 FBI agents were assigned to work on the case in Washington state.
Joe Pollard, spokesman for Peoples Drug Stores here, said the capsules were taken off the shelves Wednesday in what for many stores has become a routine procedure in the aftermath of several drug-tampering incidents this year. "We decided the simplest thing to do is remove the product from the shelves until we determine what the situation is," Pollard said.
Food and Drug Administration scientists in Seattle late Wednesday also found potassium cyanide in a capsule from a bottle that may have been used by an Auburn, Wash., man who died June 5.
The capsules were from the same lot number as that used by the Auburn woman who died June 11 of cyanide poisoning. The lot number of the affected capsules is 5-H102 with an August 1988 expiration date.
No illnesses or deaths in the Washington metropolitan area have been linked to the product, but its manufacturer, Bristol-Myers, is asking consumers to return or destroy any capsules in their possession.The FDA has issued a warning against use of the medication.
The Proprietary Association, a drug industry trade association, yesterday offered a reward of up to $300,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for drug tampering.