Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) has been linked to dangerous side effects that cause hemorrhagic strokes. PPA is a chemical that was the active ingredient in numerous over the counter and prescription diet drugs, nasal decongestants and cough medications such as Dexatrim, Acutrim, Robitussin, Comtrex, Triaminic, and Tavist D. In 1990, U.S. consumers bought about 6 billion doses of medication that contained PPA.
Phenylpropanolamine, or PPA, is an ingredient that was commonly used in over-the-counter (OTC) appetite suppressants and in some cough and cold medications until a study by the Yale University School of Medicine indicated that PPA may be dangerous. According to researchers, PPA was associated with an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke, especially in women. The study was presented to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2000. As a result, the FDA asked manufacturers to voluntarily withdraw the drug from the market and recommended that patients stop using medications that contain PPA.
Hemorrhagic stroke is a serious condition that causes bleeding within the brain. Strokes can be life-threatening medical emergencies. Depending on the case, the victim may experience dementia, paralysis, coma, or death. Because of the severity and possible repercussions of hemorrhagic stroke, the FDA considered the small increased risk associated with PPA reason enough to withdraw the drug from the market. Although the Yale researchers mainly studied the effects of PPA on women, a similar risk of stroke may exist for men as well.
In the U.S.
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