US pharmacies pull cough and flu medicine from shelves; here’s why

CVS is one of the major pharmacy chains in the United States. Announced Thursday it is voluntarily recalling certain common oral cough and cold products from their shelves.The decision was made by an U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel (FDA) last month determined that phenylephrine, the active ingredient in these products, is ineffective.

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“We are voluntarily removing certain oral cough and cold products that contain phenylephrine as the only active ingredient from CVS Pharmacy,” a CVS spokesperson confirmed. “Other oral cough and cold products will continue to be available to meet consumer demand. “

CVS’s decision comes after all 16 members of the FDA’s Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee (NDAC) agreed that oral phenylephrine, Found in popular brands like Vick, Allegra and Benadryl, It is not effective in relieving nasal congestion. FDA clarifies Neither the agency nor the commission expressed concerns about safety issues Use oral phenylephrine at recommended doses.

Although the FDA has not yet made a final decision on the product’s effectiveness, CVS has chosen to remove these products from shelves at the direction of an advisory panel.. The pharmacy chain took this step to comply with current laws and regulations and ensure the safety and effectiveness of the products it sells.

Walgreens and other U.S. drugstore chains are also paying close attention to developments. and working with relevant authorities to determine next steps. The Rite Aid chain, on the other hand, has not commented on the matter so far.

FDA issues notice to consumers after panel discussion, warns There are a variety of products that can effectively treat symptoms other than nasal congestion. The warning also notes that the committee’s recommendations apply only to oral phenylephrine, not the nasal spray.

It is important to emphasizer Some products contain phenylephrine as the only ingredient, while others combine phenylephrine with other ingredients Active ingredients, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can treat other symptoms such as headaches or muscle pain. FDA emphasizes The presence of phenylephrine in these products does not affect their effectiveness Other active ingredients are used to treat these symptoms.

The agency also emphasized that consumers need Read the drug information label carefully to determine what ingredients the product containsas well as important warnings and instructions for use.

As a last resort, If FDA determines oral phenylephrine is ineffective, additional processes will be undertaken, including public comment, working closely with manufacturers and reformulating products as needed. The aim is to ensure safe and effective products are available to treat cold or allergy symptoms.


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