Popular substance in cold medications pulled from the shelves-Truth! & Fiction!

A Drug Recall of Some Popular Cold and Sinus Medications that Contain a Substance That The FDA has banned-Truth! & Fiction!



Summary of eRumor: 
There are several different versions of emails warning against taking medications that contain phenylpropanolamine, which is popular in cold and decongestant products as well as some weight loss products.    Some of the emails list the over-the-counter products that contain phenylpropanolamine.  It also urges you to call the product manufacturers to get a refund.

The Truth:

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA), all firms that use phenylpropanolamine in their products are being asked to voluntarily discontinue them.   

The suggestion from the eRumor that there are refunds on the products is a hoax.

Phenylpropanolamine is commonly used in prescription and over-the-counter nasal decongestants and weight control products.

The FDA action was in response to a study by researchers at Yale University that found an increased risk of stroke in people who were using products with phenylpropanolamine in them.

The FDA says the chance of stroke is small and was found to have mostly affected women, but because of the seriousness of stroke and the difficulty in predicting who could be at risk, it was best to ask for the manufacturers to voluntarily remove it.

One of the problems in the wake of the FDA request is that some emails circulating on the Internet and that list particular products from particular companies give the impression that the company should be blamed for a defective product, a misunderstanding that the drug manufacturers are worried about.  They want the public to know that they are voluntarily removing phenylpropanolamine from their products.

Some versions of the story say phenylpropanolamine is also harmful to children, but that was not a conclusion of the Yale study.            

The FDA posted a notice on their website saying that they are “aware of emails circulating widely that list many products allegedly containing PPA. These emails, however, generally contain dated and inaccurate information and should be ignored.”   Click for FDA notice

 updated 01/18/09


A version of the eRumor that has appeared on the Internet:

All drugs containing PHENYLPROPANOLAMINE are being recalled.  You may want to try calling the 800 number listed on most drug boxes and inquire about a REFUND. Please read this CAREFULLY. Also, please pass this on to everyone you know.

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:

Acutrim Diet Gum Appetite Suppressant
Acutrim Plus Dietary Supplements
Acutrim Maximum Strength Appetite Control
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
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold & Sinus Effervescent
Alka Seltzer Plus Night-Time Cold Medicine
BC Allergy Sinus Cold Powder
BC Sinus Cold Powder
Comtrex Flu Therapy & Fever Relief
Day & Night Contac 12-Hour Cold Capsules
Contac 12 Hour Caplets
Coricidin D Cold, Flu & Sinus
Dexatrim Caffeine Free
Dexatrim Extended Duration
Dexatrim Gelcaps
Dexatrim Vitamin C/Caffeine Free
Dimetapp Cold & Allergy Chewable Tablets
Dimetapp Cold & Cough Liqui-Gels
Dimetapp DM Cold & Cough Elixir
Dimetapp Elixir
Dimetapp 4 Hour Liquid 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
Triaminic DM Cough Rel! ief
Triaminic Expectorant Chest & Head
Triaminic Syrup Cold & Allergy
Triaminic Triaminicol Cold & Cough .

I just found out and called the 800# on the container for Triaminic and they informed me that they are voluntarily recalling the following medicines because of a certain ingredient that is causing strokes and seizures in children:

Orange 3D Cold & Allergy Cherry (Pink)
3D Cold & Cough Berry
3D Cough Relief Yellow 3D Expectorant

They are asking you to call them at 800-548-3708 with the lot number on the box so they can send you postage for you to send it back to them, and they will also issue you a refund. If you know of anyone else with small children, PLEASE PASS THIS ON. THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF!

DO PASS ALONG TO ALL ON YOUR MAILING LIST so people are informed. They can then pass it along to their families.

To confirm these findings please take time to check the following: