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PPA Increased Stroke Risk

Bayer Sued Over Cold Medicine

PITTSBURGH, PA -- November 15, 2002 -- Individuals from seven states who suffered strokes after using Alka-Seltzer cold medicine are suing Bayer, the product's manufacturer, in a U.S. District Court. The medication contains phenylpropanolamine or PPA. A dangerous drug that has been used as a decongestant and diet aid, PPA increases the risk of hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding into the brain or into tissue surrounding the brain).

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public health advisory about the risks of PPA in November, 2000. Bayer was aware of the serious health problems posed by the drug well before that date, but withheld the information, according to the plaintiffs.

The FDA has requested that all drug companies discontinue marketing products containing PPA, but has yet to issue a formal ban (see FDA's PPA Information Page). Also, the agency has not provided consumers with a list of products that still contain the drug.

At Brayton Purcell, we are concerned about medical drug injuries and health issues. We recommend that you read the labels of any cold or weight loss medicines to make sure that they do not contain PPA. If you have any questions about unsafe drugs and your legal rights, please feel free to contact us.

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