After research proved that phenylpropanolamine (PPA) was responsible for side effects contributing to hemorrhagic strokes, regulators made a push to take the chemical off the US market. PPA, which was an active ingredient in hundreds of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, may be found in diet drugs, nasal decongestants, and cough suppressants. In 1990, approximately 6 billion doses of medication containing PPA were sold in the US. While studies showed that women were more prone to hemorrhagic strokes, or internal bleeding of the brain, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that men were also at risk. Strokes occurred no more than three days after people took the products.
PPA is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it causes blood vessels to shrink. This decreases blood flow throughout the body and causes higher pressure in blood vessels, sometimes resulting in rupturing of vessels and uncontrollable bleeding in the brain, which can cause a hemorrhagic stroke.
Some of the more popular over-the-counter medications containing PPA included Dexatrim, Acutrim, Robitussin, Comtrex, Triaminic, and Tavist D. According to the FDA, all drug companies have been asked to stop marketing products made up of PPA. The FDA is working to make the sale of any prescription and over-the-counter drugs containing PPA illegal.Symptoms of a hemorrhagic stroke
The outcome of a hemorrhagic stroke can greatly vary depending on the location in the brain where the bleeding occurs; symptoms may go unnoticed, or they may be cataclysmic. Symptoms can include any of the following:
If you or a loved one suffered a hemorrhagic stroke which you suspect was caused by a medicine containing PPA, contact our attorneys today.
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