The chemical phenylpropanolamine (PPA) is used in hundreds of prescription and over-the-counter medications.
PPA was common in diet drugs, nasal decongestants and cough medications. U.S. consumers each year buy about 6 billion doses of product containing PPA.
Risks Linked to PPA
Phenylpropanolamine, however, is suspected in causing between 200 and 500 hemorrhagic strokes per year in patients age 18 to 49. Popular PPA Products containing PPA include:
- Acutrim Weight Control Candy and Tablets
- Dexatrim Weight Control Candy and Tablets
- Permathene Mega 16 Weight Control Tablets
- Robitussin CF Cough Syrup
- Tavist D Cold, allergy and sinus tablet
- Triaminic DM Cough Syrup
PPA is linked to risks of bleeding and strokes in adults under the age of 50. Research found a greater risk of hemorrhagic strokes, or bleeding into the brain, among women. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, cautioned that men were at risk, too. The strokes occurred within three days after people took the products.