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Is Vicks Action 500 safe for headaches?

Monday, 14 April 2003
Answered by: Chandra M. Gulhati
Editor,
MIMS,
New Delhi
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Q. Sometimes I get severe headache which gets automatically subsided once I take a Vicks action 500 and sleep for half an hour but surprisingly no other painkiller seems to work. What could be the reason?

A.  Vicks Action 500 is the brand name of a combination medicine that contains: paracetamol 500 mg + phenylpropanolamine (PPA) 25 mg + caffeine 32 mg per tablet. Paracetamol is a pain-killer while PPA is a decongestant. Caffeine is added to counteract the sedative side effect of PPA. It appears that your headache is related to some sort of sinus problem since you get relief with a decongestant medicine but not with normal pain-killers. Unfortunately Vicks Action 500 is not a very safe medicine because one of its ingredients (PPA) is banned in nearly all European and North American countries. PPA has been implicated in causation of stroke - a potentially dangerous and life-threatening side effect. Unfortunately the Indian drug control system due to a variety of non-scientific reasons has not banned the use of PPA in India. It is advisable to use another decongestant product (Sinarest) that does not contain PPA but pseudoephedrine, an equally potent decongestant but much safer.

A.  Vicks Action 500 is the brand name of a combination medicine that contains: paracetamol 500 mg + phenylpropanolamine (PPA) 25 mg + caffeine 32 mg per tablet. Paracetamol is a pain-killer while PPA is a decongestant. Caffeine is added to counteract the sedative side effect of PPA. It appears that your headache is related to some sort of sinus problem since you get relief with a decongestant medicine but not with normal pain-killers. Unfortunately Vicks Action 500 is not a very safe medicine because one of its ingredients (PPA) is banned in nearly all European and North American countries. PPA has been implicated in causation of stroke - a potentially dangerous and life-threatening side effect. Unfortunately the Indian drug control system due to a variety of non-scientific reasons has not banned the use of PPA in India. It is advisable to use another decongestant product (Sinarest) that does not contain PPA but pseudoephedrine, an equally potent decongestant but much safer.

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Read Comments
Posted by : DCShukla, on Monday, January 04, 2010
Sir, I recd an email with following : Please Read Very Carefully - INFORM ALL YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY MEMBERS India has become a dumping ground for banned drugs; also the business for production of banned drugs is booming. Plz make sure that u buy drugs ! only if prescribed by a doctor(Also, ask which company manufactures it, this would help to ensure that u get what is prescribed at the Drug Store) and that also from a reputed drug store. Not many people know about these banned drugs and consume them causing a lot of damage to themselves. We forward Jokes and other junk all the time.... This is far more important. Please Make sure u forward it everyone u know. DANGEROUS DRUGS HAVE BEEN GLOBALLY DISCARDED BUT ARE AVAILABLE IN INDIA .... The most common ones are action 500 & Nimulid. ! PHENYLPROPANOLAMINE: cold and cough. Reason for ban : stroke. Brand name : Vicks Action-500 ________________________________________________________________________ ANALGIN: This is a pain-killer. Reason for ban: Bone marrow depression. Brand name: ! Novalgin ___________________________________________________________ CISAPRIDE: Acidity, constipation. Reason for ban : irregular heartbeat Brand name : Ciza, Syspride ____________________________________________________________ DROPERIDOL: Anti-depressant. Reason for ban : Irregular heartbeat. Brand name : Droperol ______________________________________________________________ FURAZOLIDONE: Antidiarrhoeal. Reason for ban : Cancer. Brand name : Furoxone, Lomofen _____________________________________________________________ NIMESULIDE: Painkiller, fever. Reason for ban : Liver failure.. Brand name : Nise, Nimulid ________________________________________________________________________ NITROFURAZONE: Antibacterial cream. Reason for ban : Cancer. Brand name : Furacin ________________________________________________________________________ PHENOLPHTHALEIN: Laxative... Reason for ban : Cancer. Brand name : Agarol ________! ______________________ __________________________________________ OXYPHENBUTAZONE: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Reason for ban : Bone marrow depression. Brand name : Sioril _______________________________________________________________________ PIPERAZI! NE: Anti-worms.... Reason for ban : Nerve damage. Brand name : Piperazine ________________________________________________________________________ QUINIODOCHLOR: Anti-diarrhoeal. Reason for ban : Damage to sight. Brand name: Enteroquinol kindly confirms abount its sanctity
 
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