COLD MEDICATIONS IN RP SAFE   

Quezon City, March 4, 2003 -- BFAD approved-formulation of drugs with PPA (phenylpropanolamine) and below 50 milligrams (mg) are safe for medical use, and no drug preparation containing PPA for reducing weight is approved for use in the Philippines.

These were among the findings of the recent Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) consultative meeting in Camp Crame, which was attended by representatives from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD), Department of Health, medical organizations and the pharmaceutical industry.

The meeting deliberated on the issue of whether over-the-counter drugs containing PPA in its present form in the country can cause adverse health effects.

The board said the Philippines and other countries did not follow the move of the US to withdraw PPA from the market due to varied reasons. Approved OTC drugs containing PPA for cold and flu remedies would allow for a daily maximum dose of only from 65-100 mg: Hongkong (100 mg), UK (100 mg), Japan (90-100 mg), and Indonesia (65 mg).

Cough and cold medicines sold in the country have a PPA content of 25 mg and below.

Participants in the meeting also allayed concerns over the illegal use of PPA, saying "it would be difficult and expensive to extract PPA from the drug preparation for the purpose of illicit manufacture of banned substance.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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