By Dr. Maria Simbra

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A voluntary recall of some popular over-the-counter medications: Bufferin, Excedrin, Gas-X and No Doz.

While the pain relievers, stomach soothers and pep pills are taken for very different problems, what they have in common is manufacturing in Lincoln, Neb., by drug maker Novartis.

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An internal review uncovered broken pills, chipped pills and the wrong pills in some bottles.

“With chipped pills or cracked pills, your issue there would be not getting the correct dose,” says Med Fast Pharmacy pharmacist Paul Higginbotham.

As of December 19th, the plant has temporarily shut down. It could cost $120 million in lost earnings and improvements. Less than 2 percent of the company’s sales come from the Nebraska plant.

“You want to err on the side of caution. For them to shut the plant down, figure out what’s going on, diagnose the problem and fix it, I think is the correct move,” says Higginbotham.

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No consumers have complained or gotten sick.

“The recall happened, I guess, Sunday. I have not at this point had anybody come in and ask me any questions about this or have had anybody call yet,” he adds.

Luckily, substitutions are easy to make.

“There’re a lot of store brands and a lot of generic alternatives to these particular active ingredients,” he says. “They’re very popular products, so I think we’ll see them back pretty quickly.”

The website has a complete list of recalled products. The company will give you a full refund. The form is available through a link on that web page, or you can call the toll free number, 1-888-477-2403, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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Dr. Maria Simbra