The Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) clarified Saturday that cold relief medicines containing phenylpropanolamine (PPA) being sold in Philippine drug stores are not dangerous.
BFAD Director Leticia Barbara Gutierrez made it clear that some people in the United States suffered from hemorrhagic stroke due to high doses of PPA, which reached 75 to 150 milligrams.
Gutierrez said the BFAD has prescribed only 25 milligrams or less of PPA in medicines. She said cold relief medicines sold in the market have PPA content ranging from 6.25 to 12.5 milligrams.
"We've never had feedback that someone is selling products which contain more than 25 milligrams of PPA," Gutierrez told radio dzMM.
Apart from the high dosage, Gutierrez pointed out that those who suffered from hemorrhagic stroke in the United States used weight reduction pills containing PPA, for a long period of time.
Unlike in the US, Gutierrez said the BFAD has not registered any weight loss product containing PPA. She also assured the public that such products are not sold in the market.
Gutierrez, however, urged consumers to steer away from medicines containing PPA, advising them to choose reformulated cold relief medicines.
The BFAD chief said Friday that several drug-manufacturing companies have already reformulated their cold relief products and took out the PPA ingredient.
She said some drug companies are now using another type of decongestant called phenylephrine.
“They removed the PPA and replaced it with another nasal decongestant, phenylephrine,” Gutierrez said.
The BFAD continues to conduct monitoring and consultation with prescribers and other stakeholders regarding PPA in medicines. Meanwhile, Gutierrez said the list of brands which may be recalled from drug stores for PPA content will be released Monday.