Medical officials in the United Kingdom and Europe have launched a review of medications such as Sudafed and Nurofen for cold and flu due to concerns that one of the ingredients could cause two rare brain conditions.
As medical researchers investigated, they found links to two extremely rare but deadly brain disorders. Sudafed, Nurofen for cold and flu, and Day & Night Nurse may all be banned or restricted to prescription only.
Officials started reviewing evidence to determine whether the rules governing the sale of the drug pseudoephedrine need to be changed. Any changes would impact decongestants such as Benylin, Nurofen for cold & flu, and Day & Night Nurse, some of the UK’s most commonly used cold medicines.
The abrupt review came after health officials were allegedly alarmed by reports of patients suffering from two rare conditions due to the drug. According to the Pharmaceutical Journal, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency was “reviewing the available evidence,” The investigation would determine whether the rules governing pseudoephedrine-containing medications needed to be changed.
The drug works by constricting swollen blood vessels in the sinuses, which causes blocked noses, but there are concerns that it may be linked to two brain disorders. Meanwhile, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) began investigating the drug just a few weeks ago.
The response is linked to “the risk of Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES) and Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome (RCVS), both of which affect blood vessels in the brain.”
The review was triggered by a “small number of cases of PRES and RCVS,” officials did not specify how many, linked to people taking pseudoephedrine-containing medication. Both conditions cause a decrease in blood supply to the brain, which can result in life-threatening complications and death.
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