WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration warned Americans Monday not to use dozens of over-the-counter cold remedies or appetite suppressants until their makers replace an ingredient that could cause hemorrhagic strokes, especially in young women.
The ingredient, called phenylpropanolamine or PPA, is found in products ranging from Dexatrim to Triaminic.
The FDA said it is taking steps to formally ban PPA, but meeting the legal requirements will take a few months. So meanwhile, the agency wrote manufacturers asking them voluntarily to immediately quit selling products containing the ingredient.
At least one manufacturer told retailers Monday to remove a PPA-containing cold remedy, Contac 12-hour Cold Capsules, from store shelves. Five other versions of Contac contain an alternative ingredient, pseudoephedrine, that is safe, stressed manufacturer SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare.
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