PPA (phenylpropanolamine) Recall

PPA (phenylpropanolamine) Recall

On November 6, 2000, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a recall on phenylpropanolamine (PPA) in products that are sold over the counter. In addition, the agency requested that all drug companies discontinue marketing products containing PPA. The agency went one step further and issued a public health advisory for phenylpropanolamine hydrochloride, the active ingredient in PPA.

This chemical is found in many over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription cold and cough medications, nasal decongestants, and OTC appetite suppressant and weight loss products. PPA is one of the most commonly used non-prescription medications in this country with literally billions of doses consumed each year. PPA has been linked to a heightened risk of hemorrhagic stroke, a serious health condition marked by bleeding into the brain or into the tissue surrounding the brain. Real concern followed the release of a scientific PPA study from Yale University that found that women between the ages of 18-49 were nearly 16 times more likely to experience a stroke within the first three days of taking appetite suppressants containing PPA than those who did not take PPA.

The Yale PPA study suggests that of all hemorrhagic stroke victims, those that ingested phenylpropanolamine within the 3 days prior to the stroke were 50% more likely to hemorrhage than the control subjects. This was particularly true of women who ingested appetite suppressants containing phenylpropanolamine or who consumed other drugs containing phenylpropanolamine while taking appetite suppressants.

Since 1979, there have been nearly 30 published case reports of brain hemorrhaging after the ingestion of PPA. Victims of hemorrhaging caused by PPA in diet pills were often women between the ages of 17 and 45 years. At least five reports, however, involved PPA in cough and cold medications.

If you have experienced adverse side effects to the diet drug PPA, please contact the Consumer Justice Group for an evaluation of your case. Call 1-800-513-1609 or send us an email.