Chilling Cold Remedies

News Note

By Darren Buford

Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, April/May 2001.

Phenylpropanolamine (PPA), an ingredient common to many cold and cough remedies, can cause strokes in men and women ages 18–49 after prolonged usage, reported the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). PPA is included in many remedies because of its effectiveness at alleviating nasal congestion. However, the FDA is warning 200–500 strokes might be linked to the ingredient. In a related story, the herbal cold and flu remedy Aller Relief has been recalled due to the FDA’s warning the product contained small amounts of the cancer-causing agent aristolochic acid. Though no adverse effects have been reported by the manufacturer BMK International, the FDA learned that aristolochic acid has been linked with incidents of kidney failure in Europe.