Icy Hot pain relievers recalled over reports of severe burns

Three of Icy Hot products are being recalled after it became known that they cause severe burns. The maker of Icy Hot, Chattem Inc. is recalling all sizes and lots of the product. They include: Icy Hot Heat Therapy Air Activated Heat -- Back; Icy Hot Heat Therapy Air Activated Heat -- Arm, Neck and Leg and samples of Icy Hot Heat Therapy Air Activated Heat -- Arm, Neck and Leg. All the products were included as promotions of pain relieving cream, Aspercreme.

The creams cause first-, second- and third-degree burns, not to mention irritation of skin. The products can be returned for a full refund.

IcyHot is a topical analgesic heat rub meant for relieving pains such as arthritis, backache, muscle strains, muscle sprains, bruises, and cramps. IcyHot is known for its dual action pain relief, claiming it is "Icy to dull the pain, and hot to relax it away". It comes in cream, a balm, a Chill Stick, and a 8cm x 12 cm patches. Recently, IcyHot has come out with sleeves, knee braces, and foam pads. Although IcyHot does make its user feel heat and cold, IcyHot does not actually heat or chill the area to which it is applied. Instead, IcyHot stimulates nerve receptors, causing the user to first feel cool, and then feel heat.

Chattem is a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based producer and marketer of over-the-counter healthcare products, toiletries, dietary supplements, topical analgesics, and medicated skin care products. Originally named the Chattanooga Medicine Company, the company’s brand portfolio holds twenty-two brands including Gold Bond, Flexall, IcyHot, Bullfrog Sunblock, Sun-In, Pamprin, Dexatrim, Aspercreme, and Selsun Blue. Two thirds of Chattem’s products are produced by the company at its Chattanooga production facilities with the remaining produced by third-party producers.

The company’s brands are sold nationally through mass merchandiser, drug and food retailers. In 2005, 70% of all sales by the firm were made through its top ten customers, which include Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and Kroger. Sales to Wal-Mart constituted 36% of Chattem’s total sales in 2005. Chattem supports these sales with a forty-five-person sales force broadcast media advertising. Chattem has market penetration in the United States, Europe, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Photo: chattem.ca

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