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Is it safe to take Influcold?

Q: I am a 33 years old male. Whenever I have a bad cold and can't take leave from the office, my family physician prescribes me Influcold tablet. I would like to know if this tablet has any side effects on health.

A:Influcold is the brand name. Its ingredients are levocetirizine (anti-allergic), phenylpropanolamine (PPA - decongestant) and paracetamol (for pain and fever). The ingredient phenylpropanolamine (PPA) is banned in all advanced countries because it can cause haemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in the brain that can result in paralysis or even death). One should never take any medicine that contains PPA. Many anti-cold products that do not contain PPA are marketed in India such as Sinarest.

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