PHENYLPROPANOLAMINE ..... This was 5 yrs ago, no need to panic!

Poise Consulting Ltd caroline at poiseconsulting.com
Fri Sep 30 00:10:04 EDT 2005


See below... also if u check that link to FDA page
http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/ppa/  its dated yr 2000.  This
ingredient has since been removed from all products listed (according to
FDA)
 
 <http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/blppa.htm>
http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/blppa.htm 



	

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Urban  <http://urbanlegends.about.com/> Legends and Folklore 

Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) Recall 	
  <http://images.about.com/all/bullets/dot_clea.gif> 	
Netlore Archive:  Forwarded emails warning that non-prescription medicines
containing phenylpropanolamine hydrochloride may have adverse health effects
were accurate at the time they were issued but are now mostly outdated 	


Description:  Email rumor
Circulating since:  Nov 2000
Status:  True/Outdated
Analysis:  See  <http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/blppa.htm#notes>
below	  	
Email example contributed by Nancy, 12/06/00: 




You may have heard this, or noticed that these products have been removed
from the shelves. 


Discard these Medications 


subject: Phenylpropanolamine 


Stop taking anything containing this ingredient. It has been linked to
increased hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in brain) among women ages 18-49 in
the three days after starting use of medication. Problems were not found in
men, but the FDA recommended that everyone (even children) seek alternative
medicine. The following medications contain Phenylpropanolamine: 


Alka-Seltzer Plus Children's Cold Medicine Effervescent 
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold medicine (cherry or orange) 
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Medicine Original 
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold & Cough Medicine Effervescent 
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold & Flu Medicine Effervescent 
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold & Sinus Effervescent 
Alka Seltzer Plus Nighttime cold Medicine Effervescent 
BC Allergy Sinus Cold Powder 
BC Sinus Cold Powder 
Comtrex Deep Chest Cold & Congestion Relief 
Comtrex Flu Therapy & Fever Relief Day & Night 
Contac 12-Hour Cold Capsules 
Contac 12 Hour Caplets 
Coricidin D Cold, Flu & Sinus 
Dimetapp Cold & Allergy Chewable Tablets 
Dimetapp Cold & Cough Liqui-Gels 
Dimetapp DM cold & Cough Elixir 
Dimetapp Elixir 
Dimetapp 4 Hour Liqui Gels 
Dimetapp 4 Hour Tablets 
Dimetapp 12 Hour Extentabs Tablets 
Naldecon DX Pediatric Drops 
Permathene Mega-16 
Robitussin CF 
Tavist-D 12 Hour Relief of Sinus & Nasal Congestion 
Triaminic DM Cough Relief 
Triaminic Expectorant Chest & Head Congestion 
Triaminic Syrup Cold & Allergy 
Triaminic Triaminicol Cold & Cough 
Acutrim Diet Gum Appetite Suppressant Plus 
Dietary Supplements 
Acutrim Maximum Strength Appetite Control 
Dexatrim Caffeine Free 
Dexatrim Extended Duration 
Dexatrim Gelcaps 
Dexatrim Vitamin C/Caffeine Free 


Please discard any of these medications as soon as possible 


Update:  Most if not all of the products listed above which formerly
contained phenylpropanolamine hydrochloride have been reformulated to
eliminate the ingredient. Consumer questions about phenylpropanolamine and
its potential health hazards may be directed to the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration at 1-888-INFO-FDA. 


Some manufacturers of over-the-counter medicines containing
phenylpropanolamine have offered refunds to consumers who purchased the
products before they were voluntarily recalled in late 2000. To inquire
about the availability of such refunds, dial the 800-number for consumer
questions listed on the product packaging. 


Comments by Carla Homan:  This email has it mostly right. In November 2000,
the FDA issued a public
<http://urbanlegends.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.fda.go
v/cder/drug/infopage/ppa/advisory.htm> health advisory about
phenylpropanolamine hydrochloride (PPA), the drug mentioned in the email.
This drug is found in many over the counter (OTC) medicines, specifically in
cold and flu remedies, as well as appetite suppressants. The drug will
likely be banned, but because this process takes time, the FDA issued the
health advisory in the meantime and manufacturers are voluntarily recalling
and/or reformulating medicines containing PPA. 


The main problem with this drug is that it elevates your risk of having a
hemorrhagic stroke, especially with (but not limited to) first time use
among women. Because the uses of PPA are not serious enough to warrant
taking even that small chance, the FDA recommends that you stop taking any
medications containing the drug. 


Rather than looking at a limited list such as the one contained in the above
email, you'd be better off checking the package of any cold, flu or appetite
suppressant medication for the drug, which will appear in the list of active
ingredients and may be listed as phenylpropanolamine, phenylpropanolamine
hydrochloride, or phenylpropanolamine bitartrate. Many manufacturers offer
several formulations of their cold and flu remedies, some of which do not
contain PPA. Pseudoephedrine is an effective alternative to PPA for use in
cold and flue preparations, but unfortunately, there is no approved
alternative OTC drug for use in appetite suppressants. Therefore, if you are
using any OTC medications to suppress your appetite for weight loss or other
reasons, you should stop using the medicine and talk to your doctor about
getting a prescription drug instead. Additionally, some prescription
decongestants and cold and flu preparations contain PPA, so if you are using
any prescription medicines for these purposes, talk to the prescribing
doctor to see if you should continue using the medicine. 


One word of caution: Though the email states your risk is for "increased
hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in brain) among women ages 18-49 in the three
days after starting use of medication," don't think you are safe if you've
used the drug for longer than three days. The three-day window was merely
one of the guidelines used in the study that prompted the health advisory;
for the study, they defined PPA exposure as having used PPA within three
days prior to the stroke. Risk of stroke may be present after three days of
use. For detailed information, see the final
<http://urbanlegends.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.fda.go
v/ohrms/dockets/ac/00/backgrd/3647b1%5Ftab19.doc> report of the Hemorrhagic
Stroke Project, Web-published by the FDA. 


As always, your best resources for reliable information on medicines and
medical conditions are your own physician and pharmacist. 





 
<http://urbanlegends.about.com/gi/pages/shareurl.htm?PG=urbanlegends.about.c
om/library/blppa.htm> Email This Article


Sources and further reading: 


Public
<http://urbanlegends.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.fda.go
v/cder/drug/infopage/ppa/advisory.htm> Health Advisory: PPA
U.S. Food & Drug Administration 

 
<http://urbanlegends.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.fda.go
v/cder/drug/infopage/ppa/default.htm> Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) Information
Page
U.S. Food & Drug Administration 




  _____  

Carla Homan is a writer and researcher based in Washington, D.C.
  _____  



(Last updated: 02/03/05) 





Urban Legends and Folklore
 Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) Recall 

Netlore Archive:  Forwarded emails warning that non-prescription medicines
containing phenylpropanolamine hydrochloride may have adverse health effects
were accurate at the time they were issued but are now mostly outdated 

Description:  Email rumor
Circulating since:  Nov 2000
Status:  True/Outdated
Analysis:  See below  


Email example contributed by Nancy, 12/06/00:

You may have heard this, or noticed that these products have been removed
from the shelves.

Discard these Medications

subject: Phenylpropanolamine

Stop taking anything containing this ingredient. It has been linked to
increased hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in brain) among women ages 18-49 in
the three days after starting use of medication. Problems were not found in
men, but the FDA recommended that everyone (even children) seek alternative
medicine. The following medications contain Phenylpropanolamine:

Alka-Seltzer Plus Children's Cold Medicine Effervescent
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold medicine (cherry or orange)
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Medicine Original
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold & Cough Medicine Effervescent
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold & Flu Medicine Effervescent
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold & Sinus Effervescent
Alka Seltzer Plus Nighttime cold Medicine Effervescent
BC Allergy Sinus Cold Powder
BC Sinus Cold Powder
Comtrex Deep Chest Cold & Congestion Relief
Comtrex Flu Therapy & Fever Relief Day & Night
Contac 12-Hour Cold Capsules
Contac 12 Hour Caplets
Coricidin D Cold, Flu & Sinus
Dimetapp Cold & Allergy Chewable Tablets
Dimetapp Cold & Cough Liqui-Gels
Dimetapp DM cold & Cough Elixir
Dimetapp Elixir
Dimetapp 4 Hour Liqui Gels
Dimetapp 4 Hour Tablets
Dimetapp 12 Hour Extentabs Tablets
Naldecon DX Pediatric Drops
Permathene Mega-16
Robitussin CF
Tavist-D 12 Hour Relief of Sinus & Nasal Congestion
Triaminic DM Cough Relief
Triaminic Expectorant Chest & Head Congestion
Triaminic Syrup Cold & Allergy
Triaminic Triaminicol Cold & Cough
Acutrim Diet Gum Appetite Suppressant Plus
Dietary Supplements
Acutrim Maximum Strength Appetite Control
Dexatrim Caffeine Free
Dexatrim Extended Duration
Dexatrim Gelcaps
Dexatrim Vitamin C/Caffeine Free

Please discard any of these medications as soon as possible




Update:  Most if not all of the products listed above which formerly
contained phenylpropanolamine hydrochloride have been reformulated to
eliminate the ingredient. Consumer questions about phenylpropanolamine and
its potential health hazards may be directed to the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration at 1-888-INFO-FDA.

Some manufacturers of over-the-counter medicines containing
phenylpropanolamine have offered refunds to consumers who purchased the
products before they were voluntarily recalled in late 2000. To inquire
about the availability of such refunds, dial the 800-number for consumer
questions listed on the product packaging.

Comments by Carla Homan:  This email has it mostly right. In November 2000,
the FDA issued a public health advisory about phenylpropanolamine
hydrochloride (PPA), the drug mentioned in the email. This drug is found in
many over the counter (OTC) medicines, specifically in cold and flu
remedies, as well as appetite suppressants. The drug will likely be banned,
but because this process takes time, the FDA issued the health advisory in
the meantime and manufacturers are voluntarily recalling and/or
reformulating medicines containing PPA.

The main problem with this drug is that it elevates your risk of having a
hemorrhagic stroke, especially with (but not limited to) first time use
among women. Because the uses of PPA are not serious enough to warrant
taking even that small chance, the FDA recommends that you stop taking any
medications containing the drug.

Rather than looking at a limited list such as the one contained in the above
email, you'd be better off checking the package of any cold, flu or appetite
suppressant medication for the drug, which will appear in the list of active
ingredients and may be listed as phenylpropanolamine, phenylpropanolamine
hydrochloride, or phenylpropanolamine bitartrate. Many manufacturers offer
several formulations of their cold and flu remedies, some of which do not
contain PPA. Pseudoephedrine is an effective alternative to PPA for use in
cold and flue preparations, but unfortunately, there is no approved
alternative OTC drug for use in appetite suppressants. Therefore, if you are
using any OTC medications to suppress your appetite for weight loss or other
reasons, you should stop using the medicine and talk to your doctor about
getting a prescription drug instead. Additionally, some prescription
decongestants and cold and flu preparations contain PPA, so if you are using
any prescription medicines for these purposes, talk to the prescribing
doctor to see if you should continue using the medicine.

One word of caution: Though the email states your risk is for "increased
hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in brain) among women ages 18-49 in the three
days after starting use of medication," don't think you are safe if you've
used the drug for longer than three days. The three-day window was merely
one of the guidelines used in the study that prompted the health advisory;
for the study, they defined PPA exposure as having used PPA within three
days prior to the stroke. Risk of stroke may be present after three days of
use. For detailed information, see the final report of the Hemorrhagic
Stroke Project, Web-published by the FDA.

As always, your best resources for reliable information on medicines and
medical conditions are your own physician and pharmacist.




Email This Article

Sources and further reading:

Public Health Advisory: PPA
U.S. Food & Drug Administration
Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) Information Page
U.S. Food & Drug Administration





----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----

Carla Homan is a writer and researcher based in Washington, D.C.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----


(Last updated: 02/03/05)


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