Edwin N of Klang forward this email to us:
“Hi Everyone: I am passing this email forwarded to me today. It's about a Medication that is familiar to many of us. Note also the FDA 's comments at the end of the message. This was checked out on Snopes.com and found to be true. I received this information from a friend whose mother recently passed away.. Apparently, this was caused by a medication that is deadly. Here are the details and I suggest you pass it on to your loved ones and others. Subject: Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) I would like to thank those of you who expressed condolences on the recent passing of my mother. She suffered a hemorrhagic stroke while she was driving home from my house at 7:30 and passed away at 8:30. My mother's stroke and passing was an enormous shock to my family because she did not have any symptoms or risk factors for a stroke. Just the week before she had gone to her doctor for a checkup and received a clean bill of health. She did, however, develop a cold while she was visiting me and had taken Alka Seltzer Cold Plus for 3 days. Since her passing, we have learned that Alka Seltzer is one of the many cold medicines that contains Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) which can cause hemorrhagic stokes or cerebral bleeding even with the first use.”
Phenylpropanolamine was found in some prescription and OTC products for the temporary relief of runny nose, sneezing, and nasal stuffiness from the common cold.
On May 11, 2000, FDA received results of a study conducted by scientists at Yale University School of Medicine that showed an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding of the brain) in people who were taking phenylpropanolamine. Although the risk of hemorrhagic stroke is very low, because of the seriousness of a stroke and the inability to predict who is at risk, the FDA had asked firms that market pharmaceutical or drug products containing phenylpropanolamine to voluntarily discontinue marketing them.
YES, these products have also been withdrawn from the Malaysian market.
The nasal decongestant tablets or syrup that your pharmacists recommend contain another decongestant called pseudoephedrine. Like phenylpropanolamine, pseudoephedrine decongests tissues by causing blood vessels to constrict. It does not have the the risk of hemorrhagic stroke of the former.
However, like all medications used for the treatment of any type of health condition, pseudoephedrine can cause side effects.
However, many people who take a drug or a combination of drugs have no side effects or minor side effects. If you are affected by any of these side effects, you should bring these to the attention of your pharmacist or doctor.
A nasal decongestant spray containing another sympathomimetic agent called oxymetazoline, is delivered directly to the lining of the nasal passages. This causes the blood vessels in area to constrict, allowing less fluid to leave the blood vessels and decreasing inflammation. This helps to relieve nasal congestion.