Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) was a widely used “active ingredient” in over-the-counter, and some prescription, cold and allergy products. PPA was also used as an “active ingredient” in many over-the-counter diet pills. In total, it is estimated that PPA was the active ingredient in over 400 products sold to the consuming public, in an estimated 6 billion doses sold annually.
On November 6, 2000, the Food and Drug Administration issued a Public Health Advisory concerning PPA, and its use as a nasal decongestant and for weight control. In doing so, the FDA began the process of having PPA-containing products removed from the market. The FDA’s bold consumer protection action in having PPA removed from products was based on the association between phenylpropanolamine and hemorrhagic stroke that was established in the industry funded Yale Hemorrhagic Stroke Project, published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.
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