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How safe is Phenylpropanolamine?

Q: How safe is Phenylpropanolamine. I understand some countries have banned the drug.

A:Phenylpropanolamine (in short PPA) is one of the three decongestants (the others being pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine) that is used in cold and cough remedies - both in the prescription and non-prescription categories (called Over The Counter - OTC). As per an American study, it can cause stroke, particularly in females. Therefore, cold and cough remedies containing PPA have been discontinued in most west European countries. Generally pseudoephedrine is a preferable agent with least safety concern. In India, most of the OTC cold remedies contain PPA such as D-Cold (the exception being Coldarin). While buying such medicines, one must read the ingredients and avoid formulations that contain PPA. The reason PPA, despite being not the safest agent, is used so widely in India is because it is cheap and offers the highest profit to manufacturers.

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