Popular Cold Medicines Sold In New York State May Be Ineffective
Some of the most popular over-the-counter cold medicines in New York State may be ineffective.
Recently, the FDA advisory committee unanimously concluded some cold medicines sold In New York State don't work.
Ineffective Nasal Decongestants Sold In New York State
The FDA is reviewing phenylephrine, an ingredient found in many popular nasal decongestants to see if works no better than a placebo in treating cold and allergy symptoms, according to the Yale School of Medicine.
The FDA advisory committee "unanimously concluded" that phenylephrine works no better than a placebo, the Yale School of Medicine reports.
"Researchers have conducted many more studies on the drug that have shown overwhelmingly that the oral formulation is clinically ineffective in reducing symptoms of congestion. The resulting advisory committee decision does not apply to nasal sprays, which are still thought to be effective," the Yale School of Medicine states.
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association is "disappointed" by the outcome of the FDA's September meeting.
"We encourage FDA, before making any regulatory determination, to be mindful of the totality of the evidence supporting this long-standing OTC ingredient, as well as the significantly negative unintended consequences associated with any potential change in oral PE's regulatory status," the statement said. "We look forward to working with FDA in the coming days to further discuss how to best move forward in the interest of patients and consumers."
What You Need To Know About Phenylephrine
Phenylephrine was approved for over-the-counter use in 1976. It became the main ingredient in decongestants in 2006 because the FDA learned an older
ingredient, pseudoephedrine, could be turned into methamphetamine. pseudoephedrine is still available behind the counter.
Phenylephrine is the most popular oral decongestant in the United States. It helps generate almost $1.8 billion in sales each year, according to the FDA.
What Is Phenylephrine Found In
Phenylephrine is found in many popular nasal decongestants. The substance is used as an ingredient in a number of popular cold medicines.
It's sold under brand names like Sudafed PE, Mucinex, Benadryl, Allegra, Nyquil and Dayquil.
"It's amazing the amount of dollars being spent on something that really has no efficacy," William Figg, Pharm.D., from the National Cancer Institute, said during the FDA's meeting, according to ABC News.
CVS Pulls Popular Cold Medicines From New York Store Shelves
CVS confirmed it's voluntarily removing all over-the-counter products that use phenylephrine as their only active ingredient.
“We are voluntarily removing certain oral cough and cold products that contain phenylephrine as the only active ingredient from CVS Pharmacy stores,” a CVS spokesperson said to the New York Post. “Other oral cough and cold products will continue to be offered to meet consumer needs. We are aware of the FDA Advisory Committee’s position on oral phenylephrine (PE) and will follow direction from the FDA to ensure products we sell comply with all laws and regulations."
Note: This article has been updated to include some corrections from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.
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