28 Jan 2010

Drug giant recalls blood-thinning tablet

8:38 pm on 28 January 2010

Drug company GlaxoSmithKline is recalling a blood-thinning tablet that may contain more medicine than it should.

The 3mg blue Marevan tablets containing warfarin have been dispensed to patients in New Zealand since November last year.

GlaxoSmithKline says people taking the 3mg tablet have an increased risk of bruising and/or bleeding. People are advised to return these tablets to pharmacies.

Marevan is one of three medications containing warfarin that pharmacists can dispense in New Zealand. Warfarin is an anticoagulant used widely to thin blood and help prevent clots.

The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand's chief executive, Annabel Young, says patients will still be able to maintain their treatment by taking three of the 1mg tablets instead.

Patients who take the 3mg tablets are advised not to suddenly stop, but to seek medical advice.

Ms Young says it is rare for drug companies to issue consumer recalls.