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Walgreen “Non-Drowsy” Drugs May Cause Drowsiness Class Action

Walgreen Boots Alliance, Inc. and Walgreen Co. are the defendants in this class action, which alleges that Walgreen’s stores sells its own generic cough and cold medicines that are advertised and labeled as being “Non-Drowsy” formulas. The complaint claims that some of them contain dextromethorphan (DXM) and that drowsiness is in fact a side effect of DXM.

A class and two subclasses have been defined for this action:

  • The Nationwide Class is all persons who bought a Non-Drowsy Walgreens product in the US during the applicable statute of limitations.
  • The Consumer Protection Subclass is those from the Nationwide Class who live in New York, Washington, DC, Massachusetts, Missouri, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
  • The Washington Subclass is those in the in the Nationwide Class who bought the products in Washington.

Pages 3 and 4 of the complaint contain images of the packages of Wal-Tussin cough medicine and Cold & Flu medicine, with red arrows pointing to the “Non-Drowsy” claims on the front label.

The complaint alleges, “In truth, products containing DXM—like the Non-Drowsy Walgreens Products—do cause drowsiness, and drowsiness is a documented side effect of DXM.” The complaint claims, “For example, one study found that ‘[s]omnolence is a common side effect of centrally acting antitussive drugs’ like dextromethorphan…. The ‘cases of intense somnolence’ were ‘related only to dextromethorphan’ and not to the other drug studied.”

This side effect of DXM is so well-known that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) forbids pilots from flying if they have taken a medicine that contains DXM.

The complaint asserts, “Walgreens’ labeling does not contain any language that a reasonable consumer would understand to qualify these representations, or that would otherwise put a reasonable consumer on notice of the fact that the Non-Drowsy Walgreens Products actually cause drowsiness.”

The complaint points out that other drug makers do not label their DXM-containing drugs as being “Non-Drowsy.” If Walgreen wanted to say that the drugs induce less drowsiness than others of the same type, the complaint alleges, it could have labeled the medicines as being “Less Drowsy.”

At times, consumers prefer to take drugs that will not them sleepy. The complaint alleges that, “all else equal, a reasonable consumer would prefer to take a drug that does not cause drowsiness to one that does[.]” “Indeed,” the complaint claims, in many situations, taking a drug that does or can cause drowsiness can be dangerous. For example, taking a drug that causes drowsiness while driving is dangerous.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Walgreen “Non-Drowsy” Drugs May Cause Drowsiness Complaint

January 3, 2022

Walgreen Boots Alliance, Inc. and Walgreen Co. are the defendants in this class action, which alleges that Walgreen’s stores sells its own generic cough and cold medicines that are advertised and labeled as being “Non-Drowsy” formulas. The complaint claims that some of them contain dextromethorphan (DXM) and that drowsiness is in fact a side effect of DXM.

Walgreen “Non-Drowsy” Drugs May Cause Drowsiness Complaint

Case Event History

Walgreen “Non-Drowsy” Drugs May Cause Drowsiness Complaint

January 3, 2022

Walgreen Boots Alliance, Inc. and Walgreen Co. are the defendants in this class action, which alleges that Walgreen’s stores sells its own generic cough and cold medicines that are advertised and labeled as being “Non-Drowsy” formulas. The complaint claims that some of them contain dextromethorphan (DXM) and that drowsiness is in fact a side effect of DXM.

Walgreen “Non-Drowsy” Drugs May Cause Drowsiness Complaint
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Non-Drowsy Claims