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Public advisory

Natural health product (Spectrazyme) recalled due to potential contamination with the antibiotic chloramphenicol

Starting date:
October 11, 2013
Posting date:
October 11, 2013
Type of communication:
Natural health products
Source of recall:
Health Canada
General Public
Identification number:


Metagenics Canada, in consultation with Health Canada, is voluntarily recalling its natural health product “Spectrazyme” – a digestive aid – due to a possible contamination with chloramphenicol, an antibiotic that may pose serious health risks to consumers. Chloramphenicol is associated with a rare risk of aplastic anemia, a serious blood disorder that can be fatal. This reaction is unpredictable and not related to a specific dose of chloramphenicol.

Chloramphenicol is a prescription drug and should only be used under medical supervision in adults and children after careful consideration of the risks associated with it use. Other side effects that can be associated with chloramphenicol include allergic reactions in people who have sensitivity to the medication, and effects on the bone marrow leading to decreased blood cells.  In addition, it should not be used in pregnant or lactating women.

Products affected

  1. Spectrazyme (NPN 80044751) Lot #0413083

What you should do

  • Consult your healthcare practitioner immediately if you have used this product.
  • Report any adverse events using this product to Health Canada.
  • Contact Metagenics Canada Inc. at 1-800-268-6200 to return the product.

Who is affected

Canadians who have used this product. The company has not received any reports of adverse reactions associated with this product.

Report health or safety concerns

To report suspected adverse reaction to these or other health products, please contact Health Canada’s Canada Vigilance Program toll-free at 1-866-234-2345, or complete a Canada Vigilance Reporting Form and send to us using one of these methods:

  • Fax: 1-866-678-6789
  • Internet:
  • Mail: Canada Vigilance Program
    Marketed Health Products Directorate
    Ottawa, ON, Address Locator 0701E
    K1A 0K9

Media enquiries

Health Canada
(613) 957-2983

Public enquiries

(613) 957-2991
1-866 225-0709

What Health Canada is doing

Health Canada is monitoring the recall of “Spectrazyme” by the company.

According to the company, testing of one of the raw materials used to produce this product identified the presence of chloramphenicol.


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