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Pain Relief Spray Recalled Due to Cancer-Causing Chemicals

Americaine® 20% Benzocaine Topical Anesthetic Spray overlays leukemia cells and a red RECALL banner
Source: Reddit/Canva

Insight Pharmaceuticals, a prominent drug company, has come forward to recall a topical anesthetic spray due to its contamination with a cancer-causing agent.

The specific product recalled is a single lot of Americaine 20 percent Benzocaine Topical Anesthetic Spray (via MSN). The spray offered topical, on-skin pain relief for abrasions, cuts, and non-complicated burns. It could also be used for external hemorrhoids.

Here’s everything you need to know about the recall.

According to Newsweek, the cancer-causing agent was identified as benzene. Benzene is a known carcinogen that has been linked to blood disorders and leukemia, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It typically causes cell damage and harms the immune system.

While benzene can be common in the environment (such as through air pollution, fires, tobacco smoke, and gasoline), it can be harmful to humans.

The benzene that Insight Pharmaceuticals identified was specifically from the propellant used in the spray can. Insight’s recall announcement stated that “no serious adverse events have been reported to date.”

According to the company’s recall announcement, the lot that was identified as contaminated is marked with the code “1A16420.” The package size of the product is 2 total ounces. Additionally, Newsweek noted that at the time of this publication, Insight has not expanded the recall to cover any other lots associated with other code numbers, and notes that the customers who currently have the product under other lot codes are free to continue using it.

Insight advised in its announcement that “consumers should contact their physician or health care provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using this anesthetic product.”

Newsweek notes that you may be eligible for a refund if you currently have the product in your home that is marked with the contaminated lot number. To claim the refund, consumers must take a photo of the bottom of the can before any disposal processes. After the photo is taken, consumers can follow the submission steps found on the recall notice on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website. For ease, we’ve shown them below.

Per the FDA, customers can contact Insight Pharmaceuticals via email at [email protected], its website, or at (800) 344-7239.

Additionally, the FDA invites consumers to report any adverse reactions associated with the use of the contaminated Americaine product. Consumers can report to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail, or by fax.


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